While onions cost Rs 10 per kg during the festive season last year, there will be very little cheer for families this time around. With prices of this essential item unlikely to come down till September-end, the staple ingredient in most food items is likely to bring tears across kitchens in the state.
“Last year, the produce was good and hence rates were low while this year the situation is bad, as produce has been very poor on account of low rainfall. This has led to prices shooting up. The farmer is surely not going sell his produce in the market at a loss,” said Hanumant Tolekar, a wholesaler at Vashi’s APMC market.
In mid-August prices shot up drastically touching Rs 80 rupees per kg, provoking outrage. Wholesalers had then predicted that the price would fall by September, but with no new onion crop entering the market, the chance of prices stabilising looks bleak. Chandrakant Ramani, another wholesaler from APMC, said that the produce entering the market is very little this year.
“In comparison to the 150 trucks that arrive at the market daily, there is an inflow of only 75 trucks nowadays. This is too little to meet the demand from Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Raigad. Although onions from Hubli have started to enter the market, it can’t keep up with demand. Besides these are new onions, which are damp and smaller in size too.”
Wholesalers said prices have been fluctuating in the last one month. “While onion prices fall for a day or two, it rises back after a few days. Therefore until prices remain constant for at least a week, it would unfair to say that prices have dropped.”
“With onions prices hovering at Rs 55 to 60 per kg in the retail market currently, and with no adequate stock arriving, it seems like the eye-watering prices will continue to rise,” said S Rajan, a city retailer.