If the prices of onions and indeed most vegetables are making you cry, then be prepared to shed more tears for the next 30 days. The good news however, is that prices of most grocery items are likely to come down sometime in September, if wholesalers at the Agricultural Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) market are to be believed.
On Saturday, onion prices touched Rs 26-28 per kilo at the APMC wholesale market and crossed the Rs 38 barrier in some retail markets.
What worries wholesalers most is the lack of onions as well as vegetables coming into the market from the districts. On August 2, there were only 37 trucks and 27 smaller vehicles loaded with onions that entered Vashi’s APMC premises compared to the usual supply of 125 truckloads of onions. Wholesalers said that supply is far lower than demand, leading to the crisis.
The problem is not limited to onions. Vegetables in general are in short supply. On August 3, there were a total of 409 vehicles that entered APMC, a sharp drop from July 1 when 475 vehicles full of veggies were recorded.
In the wholesale market, the rate of onions is anywhere between Rs 26-28 per kg while in the retail market the price is varying between Rs 34-38 per kg. Ashok Walunj, director of the onion potato market at APMC said the situation is expected to remain bad till early September. “Presently the market is receiving onions from Nashik and Pune.
The produce is basically that which is stocked by the farmers in April and May. Till the time the new produce comes into the market, which would be in September, prices cannot be expected to come down,” he said.
On July 1, 7050 quintals of onions came in to the APMC market while on July 20 the number went down to 6900 quintals and last week to a mere 5700 quintals. Shamji Gala, another wholesale trader at APMC said prices could even go up if supply remained this low. “It may be difficult for small vendors to sell any onions or cover their cost,” he said. Other wholesalers said they fear prices could go up to R35 in the wholesale market.
Overall too, just 409 trucks of vegetables entered APMC on August 2. This, as traders say, is clearly not going to be enough to supply veggies to over 15 million Mumbaiites. Ramesh Dattir, a wholesaler at APMC, said farmers have not been fetching a very good price in the market here and hence are selling their produce in the local markets back home. “Besides the rainfall too has not been very good in Maharashtra during the last year, leading to a decrease in the produce drastically,” he concluded.
Onion prices on August 3
Wholesale: Rs 26-28 per kg
Retail: Rs 34-38 per kg