Onion prices likely to increase during the festive season as supply dips by 40 percent

The people of Maharashtra are likely to have a tough time in days to come as their monthly budget will go for a toss. At a time when most of the household’s income has come down drastically due to COVID-19, the skyrocketing price of essential commodities especially vegetables has derailed the monthly budget. It will deteriorate further as the price of onions is likely to increase during the festive season.

The price of onion is likely to increase as the supply has dipped by around 40 per cent at the wholesale market in Vashi. The average price of onion at the wholesale market has reached Rs 38 per kg owning to poor supply. The retail price of onions has already crossed Rs 50 per kg.

In mid-September, the supply of onion at the Kanda-Batata market at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) in Vashi was around 7000 quintals with the average price was Rs 21 per kg. However, the supply came down to just 4350 quintals on September 8 with a sharp 40 percent dip. At present, the average price of onion is Rs 38 per kg in the Kanta-Batata market in APMC Vashi.

The dip in supply will impact the price in retail where it has already touched Rs 50/kg. According to traders at APMC, the decline in supply is due to excessive rains damaging onion crops stored across major onion growing states including Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh.

Even the onion available in the market is of substandard. “Premium quality onions were exported during the lockdown and now, only farmers have onion available which were damaged due to heavy rainfall,” said a trader. Rajeev Maniar, Secretary of Kanda-Batata Aadhat Vyapari Sangh at APMC Vashi said that premium quality onion was already exported during the lockdown. “Due to excess rainfall last year, the crops damaged and quality also deteriorated,” said Maniar. He added that at present, onions are available with the farmer only.

“There is no immediate respite from price rise, however, by the beginning of November when new crops arrive in the market, we can expect price control,” said another trader. At present, the onion arriving in the marker are summer variety, harvest during March-April, most of which were rotted due to excessive rain.

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