The common man who has been struggling in this pandemic starting from losing jobs to pay cut in salary, however, now he has to face another challenge as the prices of onions have reached to Rs 100 to Rs. 120 per kg in Mumbai and Pune respectively.
Onion has now become more expensive than some exotic vegetables in the metropolitan cities. After soaring in petrol prices, Mumbaikars are currently facing the brunt of high food commodity prices as the retail price of onions soared to Rs 100 per kg, corresponding to rates at Nashik district’s Lasalgaon wholesale market.
Reportedly, 60 percent of Maharashtra’s onions are cultivated from Nashik. Also, the Lasalgaon agriculture produce market committee (APMC) is the largest wholesale onion market in India.
According to a commission agent of Pune APMC, the shortage in supply is the reason for the price hike of onions. The retail rate of onion on October 21 was Rs 80-100/kg in Mumbai and Rs 100-120/kg in Pune.
Since January the average wholesale price of onion at Lasalgaon reached Rs 1900-6200 per quintal. Traders quoted in the report attributed the steep prices to a shortage in supply. After four days, the APMC market opened on Monday when the income-tax department searched the premises of traders in the Nashik district.
Lasalgaon APMC chairperson Suvarna Jagtap cited that heavy rainfall has affected onion supply.
According to estimates by the Maharashtra State Onion Growers’ Association (MSOGA), 50 percent of Kharif and late Kharif onion crops were damaged due to heavy rains.
As per the data of the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution, onion prices steadily moved upwards since August 2020.
According to the trader, “Price has increased as supply from farms is affected due to rain. The price of onion that was around Rs 70/kg last week increased to Rs 120/kg today.”
The Horticulture Produce Exporters’ Association (HPEA) cited, hope is being placed at import stock levelling prices as 70 containers with 2,000-tonne onions have arrived on October 21st at Mumbai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT). Another 100 containers with 2,900-tonne onions are expected within two-three days at JNPT pushing landing cost to Rs 40-45/kg and retail cost to Rs 50-55/kg.
Meanwhile, the government relaxed import norms until December 15 to boost domestic supply. The consumer affairs ministry said it offloaded buffer stock to check price rise. Due to a sudden surge in price, the consumer and buyers are forced to buy onions in less quantity.