Mumbai: Veggie prices soar, onion price rises to Rs 60 a kilo in retail market

Mumbai: Prices of most vegetables at retail markets in Mumbai have surged by 30-50% compared to a week ago as supplies of fast perishable commodities have been hit due to recent rains, and as farmers stayed away due to Diwali celebrations, traders said.

In retail markets here, onion was sold at 55-60 rupees a kg, despite only a marginal rise in wholesale prices. “Supply of vegetables in Mumbai declined by 10-15% as arrivals from Satara, Sangli regions in Maharashtra were hampered due to rains,” said Arun Gupta, owner of Nagina & Sons in Vashi’s Agricultural Produce Market Committee.

Wholesalers and APMC officials blamed retail vendors for the sharp rise in prices, as wholesale prices haven’t risen much in the last couple of weeks. In retail markets, cauliflower was on Tuesday quoted at Rs 100-120 a kg, up Rs 50-60 from a week ago, while brinjal was sold at Rs 70-80 a kg, up Rs 30-40, said Mitu Bhajiwala, a local vegetable vendor.

French beans were sold at Rs 120-140 a kg, up Rs 60-70 from a week ago, while capsicum fetched Rs 80-100, up Rs 30-40. In the wholesale market of Vashi, carrot was sold at Rs 1,800 per 100 kg, up Rs 200 from a week ago, French beans at Rs 3,800, up Rs 400, and tomatoes at Rs 2,400 up Rs 200, according to data from the APMC.

Western and northern Maharashtra, along with some other parts of the state, have received heavy rains since late September through mid-October, which has impacted the harvest of not only kharif crops, but also short-duration vegetables. Arrivals from other sourcing points in Gujarat, Karnataka, Delhi, Punjab and Haryana were also affected due to recent rains.

Overall, harvesting came to a standstill due to Diwali celebrations last week, which curtailed supply, Gupta said. Traders said the supply disruptions would be short-lived and arrivals should increase from next week. “Prices are expected to fall in the coming days because new arrivals are expected to commence, cooling down the vegetable prices,” Rajendra Bankar, owner of Morya Vegetables in Vashi, told Cogencis.

 Prices of onion at the benchmark market of Lasalgaon inMaharashtra had surged to a 2-year high on Monday, with premium quality onion soldat 3,000-3,200 rupees per 100 kg, traders had told Cogencis. Prices rose by nearly Rs 500 per 100 kg on week due to pent updemand, as the market was shut for four days on account of Diwali, they said.

To address the rising prices of onion, the Maharashtra government had ordered Agriculture Produce Market Committees across the state to shut business on account of festivals only during October 19-22, after reports that the committees might be closed seven to nine days.

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