Starting from the first week of June, the price of onions has been rising daily and wholesalers at Vashi’s Agricultural Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) say the price of the commodity may increase further. Last year around the same time, the wholesale price of onions was Rs 8-10 per kilogram. As of yesterday, they were being sold at Rs 14-16 per kilogram at APMC wholesale market.
In the retail market onions are being sold at Rs 20-22 per kilogram. The traders at the market say the production of the crop has not been very good this year due to inadequate rainfall and the drought situation in certain parts of Maharashtra. Ashok Walunj, director of the onion potato market at APMC, said, “Onions are known to come from certain parts of Maharashtra like Nashik and Pune.
Farmers stock the good quality produce to be stored for months like March, April and May while the medium quality produce is sold immediately. Due to lack of produce, onions have been coming from Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Therefore there is no scarcity of the commodity yet. Had there been no produce coming from these places then the prices could have been anywhere between Rs 18-20 a kilogram due to scarcity.”
Presently, about 100 trucks of onions come to the market, which includes about 30 trucks from Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Chandrakant Ramani, another wholesaler at APMC, said, “Farmers from places like Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are selling onions to APMC traders as they fetch a greater price here. The drought situation in the state has affected the produce. Last week the price of onions was Rs 10-13 per kilogram and now the price has gone to Rs 16.”
Wholesalers fear that the rate could touch Rs 25 to 30 per kilogram in coming months, especially in August when the stocks usually get over. In September, after the rains, a fresh produce of crop will enter the market and prices should stabilise. The wholesale price of onions had touched a peak of Rs 32 three years ago. Avinash Tombhere, an onion retailer from Vashi market, said, “Customers are already feeling the pinch on account of the rising prices of onions. The prices are set to rise further.”