After four days of hiatus, the onion auction in Nashik district resumed on Friday. However, the onion prices fell to Rs 5,912 per quintal, while average price was Rs 5,100 per quintal. Last week, the prices ranged between Rs 6,500 and Rs 7,600 per quintal with farmers keen to dispose of onions stored before they rot.
As reported by the Free Press Journal, the auction was suspended on Monday by traders to protest against the central government’s notification that imposed a stock limit of 25 metric tonnes for wholesale and 2 metric tonnes for retail. The auction resumed after the intervention of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Both assured traders and farmers to soon take up the issue with the central government.
Maharashtra produces 60 per cent of the total onion production and exports 80 per cent of the total produce. Leading onion trader from Nashik district Nitin Jain told the Free Press Journal, “The auction resumed at 8 of the 15 market committees as there was a holiday for Eid-e-Milad too. About 40,000 quintals of onion worth Rs 20 crore was auctioned today. The arrival of onion, which is stored in Maharashtra and also from Madhya Pradesh, in the market committees will be auctioned till the end of November. In addition, the arrival of imported onions will commence from November 20.” He further said that the demand is growing from hotels and restaurants that have resumed operations.
Jain said the arrival of fresh onion produce will start in Maharashtra in mid-December, which will further reduce the supply constraints. As the auction resumed, onion prices also eased in the retail market. Prices were reduced by Rs 10 to Rs 15 per kg.