Onions move Mumbai to tears

Jul 21, 2013, 01:10 IST | Team Sunday MiD DAY

As onion prices touch Rs 40 a kilo in the retail market, APMC officials warn the vegetable could remain expensive till September due to the drought that preceeded the rains

Onion prices have hit the roof yet again. The vegetable, an almost indispensable part of millions of Indian kitchens, was priced at R15 per kilo in June but has now touched R25-27 per kilo at the wholesale market. It is selling for R35-40 a kilo in the open market.

Onion prices are expected to go above R30 at wholesale markets in August

Wholesale onion traders on Saturday claimed inadequate rainfall has been one of the major causes for onion prices spiralling up. Ashok Walunj, director of the Agricultural and Produce Marketing Committee’s (APMC) Onion-Potato market said the drought that preceeded the rains, had also affected supply badly. “A few days ago there were only around 70-80 trucks coming in to APMC.

Today the number of trucks have gone up to 100. We are afraid the price of onions could go up further. The onions, which are presently coming into the market, are those which had been stocked by farmers in April and May. The new crop would come only post September,” said Walunj.

At government-subsidised centres in the city, onions have not been selling much because of the high price. Ajit Borade, one of the traders from Vashi APMC who is overseeing supply at one of the government-subsidised centres in the city, said, “At these centres, at least the price is much less if you compare it with the rates in the retail market.”

APMC wholesalers predict that the price of onions could go above R30 per kilo in the wholesale market in August. Retailers, on the other hand, say onion prices had started to show signs of going up from June itself.

Zamir Shaikh, an onion retailer from the western suburbs, said the price of onions crossed R20 in mid-June itself and has currently touched R35. “Prices are set to soar further. This upward trend would continue at least for a month,” he said.  

Pricey onions (Rs /kg)
>> Andheri: 35
>> Vile Parle (east): 36
>> Thane (Gaondevi market): 40
>> Bandra (Pali Naka): 40
>> Santacruz (w): 36
>> Chembur: 35
>> Govt rates: 29

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