The extreme shortage of onions, which has caused the price of the commodity to soar in recent times and prompted traders in the city to import supplies from Egypt, has now forced them to seek help from unexpected quarters. Yesterday, onions from Pakistan entered Vashi’s Agricultural Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) market. About 56 tonnes of onion entered in bags of 20 kg each.
Five trucks carrying onions from Pakistan entered early last morning. These onions were selling at prices ranging from Rs 45-48 per kg. Islam Adrishi, who had imported these onions, said that the quality of the commodity was good, but not better than the Indian variant. “The onions of our country are the best.
Around 1-2 kg of damaged onion came from a 20-kilo bag. These are medium-sized onions and took around four days to come to our city from Karachi via sea,” said Adrishi. However, it waits to be seen if the import will ease the shortage of the commodity and bring down the prices of the Indian variant a few notches.
“This is not the first time that onions from Pakistan have entered the market. Two years ago, when the prices of the commodity had gone up, Karachi onions were sold at APMC-Vashi. These onions come via Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) container port. In the retail market, onions are being sold for prices between Rs 65-70. Retailers said that many customers had been very apprehensive about buying the commodity in large quantities, as they would earlier.
Tulsidas Chaudhary, a retailer from MAFCO market in Vashi, said, “The customers assume that we are hiking prices unnecessarily. The price of the commodity is so high in the wholesale market itself that we are left with no option but to sell it at extremely high rates,” said Chaudhary. Yesterday, 84 trucks of onions entered Vashi APMC market.
Rs 58-60 per kg
Wholesale price of the old crop of onions selling APMC market yesterday
Rs 45-48 per kg
Wholesale price of the crop that was imported from Pakistan
Rs 52-55 per kg
Wholesale price of a new crop, which entered from Karnataka
Rs 65-70 per kg
The retail price of onions at the markets yesterday
These days, I am trying to prepare only those vegetables that require fewer onions. I am being very cautious while using onions, using them in food items that are absolutely necessary. Otherwise, I try completely avoiding the use of the commodity.
-- Vidya Nikam, resident of Sanpada
The price of onions and apples these days have almost become the same. Each time I come to buy onions, it costs a little more than it did the last time. There is just no control over the price of the commodity and it would not take time for onions to reach a three-digit figure, I feel.
-- Rafiq Kazi, resident of Vashi