Onions have left customers teary-eyed as prices of the staple continue to soar in Maharashtra. On Wednesday, the onion prices in Mumbai have tripled from Rs 60 per kilo in September to Rs 150-160 per kilo.
According to Hindustan Times, onion wholesale prices had touched a record Rs 120/kg on Tuesday, forcing retailers to increase the rates. Traders at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) wholesale market in Vashi, however, said prices could come down in the next 10 days once imported onions arrive.
State-run trading firm MMTC has placed another onion import order of 4,000 tonnes from Turkey and the shipments are expected to reach by mid-January, the government said on Wednesday. This is in addition to 17,090 tonnes of onions already contracted, which includes 6,090 tonnes from Egypt and 11,000 tonnes from Turkey, it said in a statement. MMTC is importing onions on the behalf of the government, which is trying to check prices of the key bulb by improving domestic supplies through various modes, including imports.
The Department of Consumer Affairs has also directed MMTC to issue three more tenders for import of onions. Out of three tenders, two are the country-specific, namely Turkey and the European Union, and one is a global tender. Each of these tenders are for 5,000 tonnes. To facilitate early imports, the Consumer Affairs Ministry said certain norms have been relaxed in the new tenders issued. These include the size of onions to be imported have been expanded to 40mm-80mm, consortium bidding has been allowed, exporters can offer shipment in multiple lots.
(Inputs from Agencies)