No more tears, onion prices to go down soon

Aug 20, 2013, 02:10 IST | Richa Pinto

While the price of onions witnessed a fall by Rs 10 in the wholesale market, there was no change in the retail market where the rates continued to hover at Rs 60 a kg

For those who were worried about the record low the rupee hit on Monday, this piece of news might bring some hope. After running rings over the spiralling prices of onions for the last two weeks, prices of the vegetable declined by approximately Rs 10 in the wholesale market.

Small joys: APMC traders said that the rates had fallen after retailers refused to buy onions at the high price. They added that the new crop from Bangalore would help reduce prices even more. File pic

On Saturday, the wholesale price of onions at the APMC was Rs 48 a kg. On Monday, the market opened up with the onion prices at Rs 40. But wholesale traders weren’t too surprised by the dip in prices.

Chandrakant Ramani, a wholesale trader at Vashi’s APMC market opined that the major reason for the fall in prices was that retailers were not ready to buy the vegetable at such high prices.

“This means that even farmers were making lesser profits. Hence, they have no option but to give away the produce at a lower rate,” he explained.

At the government’s 113 subsidised centres across the city, too, the prices on onions fell from Rs 52 to Rs 42 on Monday. But, there was no good news for the retail market, as prices continued to remain as high as Rs 60.

However, asked if the prices would fall further, Ashok Walunj, director of the APMC onion potato market, said that it would be difficult to predict if prices would fall or rise. “There are a lot of changes which were observed in the market in the last few days. Therefore, it is difficult to say anything.”

And while Walunj was sceptical about predicting the future prices, a lot of traders were optimistic that the prices would fall once the new crop from Bangalore entered the market.

Onion price issue raised in parliament
The BJP yesterday raised the issue of rise in onion prices in the Rajya Sabha and demanded immediate ban on export of onions.

BJP leader Balbir Punj raised the matter during Zero Hour and demanded an explanation from the government on the cause of increase in onion prices.

“Onion prices today are more than petrol and diesel. The production of onion this year is only 5 per cent less compared to last year but the prices are 500 per cent more,” said Punj. He said the problem was due to a cartel of onion traders in Nashik.

“The government should immediately ban export of onions,” he said. 

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