Wholesale prices of onion cross Rs 100 per kg in Maharashtra; rates to stay high till arrival of fresh stocks in markets

On Wednesday, the government extended prohibitions on traders from the stocking of the edible bulb across the country for an indefinite period even as the onion prices continue to rule high at Rs 80-90 per kg.

FP Staff November 28, 2019 08:19:18 IST
Wholesale prices of onion cross Rs 100 per kg in Maharashtra; rates to stay high till arrival of fresh stocks in markets
  • Top grade onions were trading above Rs 90 per kg in most wholesale markets in Maharashtra, while the rates have crossed even Rs 100 at some places

  • In Bengal, traders said because of the high rate, onion sales plunged by 50 percent

  • On Wednesday, the government extended prohibitions on traders from the stocking of the edible bulb across the country

The wholesale price of onions has skyrocketed to Rs 100 per kg, a record jump in the history of the country triggering widespread resentment among consumers, according to news reports. The price of the kitchen staple is expected to stay high for another two-three weeks. The rates may decline after the arrival of fresh stocks in the market following the harvest.

Top grade onions were trading above Rs 90 per kg in most wholesale markets in Maharashtra, while the rates have crossed even Rs 100 at some places, according to a report in The Economic Times which cited traders.

Wholesale prices of onion cross Rs 100 per kg in Maharashtra rates to stay high till arrival of fresh stocks in markets

Representational image. Reuters

The wholesale rates in Solapur and Sangamner in Maharashtra reportedly rose to Rs 110 per kg while Vashi reported Rs 100 a kg on Monday, the report said. However, onion prices eased in the Vashi wholesale market on Wednesday and was selling in the range of Rs 55-95 per kg.

In Bengal, traders said because of the high rate, onion sales plunged by 50 percent. The wholesale rate of onions rose to Rs 65 to Rs 70 per kg, from Rs 55 to Rs 60 per kg a few weeks earlier, said a report in The Telegraph.

In the north-east, for the first time prices of onions shot up to Rs 100 per kg in Assam, primarily because of disruption in supply in the wake of excess rain in major onion-growing states.

Govt extends stock holding limit

On Wednesday, the government extended prohibitions on traders from the stocking of the edible bulb across the country for an indefinite period even as the onion prices continue to rule high at Rs 80-90 per kg, reported PTI.

Separately, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan did not say by when prices of onion will normalise. "It's not in our hand, the government is making maximum efforts but who can win from nature," he told reporters when asked by when onion prices will come down to reasonable level.

Besides the stock holding limit, he said, the Centre has banned exports of onion and importing 1.2 lakh tonnes to control prices. Onion prices are ruling at Rs 70-80 per kg in retail markets across major cities.

"Stockholding limit on retailers and wholesalers are being further extended until further orders," an official statement said.

The stock holding limit was imposed in September. At present, retailers can stock onion only up to 100 quintals and wholesale traders are allowed to keep up to 500 quintals.

The decision was taken at an inter-ministerial meeting, chaired by Consumer Affairs Secretary AK Srivastava, to monitor the price and availability of onions across the country.

The consumer affairs secretary has written to chief secretaries of all states asking them to suitably reduce the stock limits further in their states as per the availability and prices. They have been asked to strictly enforce these stock limits and send an action taken report on a weekly basis.

Shipment from Egypt to arrive soon

State-owned MMTC informed that the first shipment of onions from Egypt would arrive in the second week of December. The public sector trading firm has contracted imports of 6,090 tonnes of onions. It has floated a country-specific tender.

On Monday, public sector trading firm MMTC, which has been tasked to import onion on behalf of the Centre to cool prices, has contracted to import 6,090 tonnes from Egypt, and the edible bulb will be supplied to states in a price range of Rs 52-60 per kg.

Last week, the Union Cabinet decided to import 1.2 lakh tonnes of onions to improve the domestic supply and control prices, which touched Rs 100 per kg earlier this month. Retail prices are ruling at around Rs 70 per kg in the national capital.

"MMTC has placed order for the first consignment of 6,090 tonnes of onions from Egypt which will be arriving at Nhava Sheva (JNPT), Mumbai. The Onions are being offered to state governments for distribution at the rate of Rs 52-55 per kilogram ex-Mumbai and will also be made available at the rate of Rs 60 per kilogram ex-Delhi," an official statement said.

With PTI inputs

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