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Onion prices may go further up this week


White onions have touched INR 70/kg, the reds are at INR 60/kg at Nagpur & likely to go up by INR 5/kg.

The wholesale market at Kalamna in Nagpur (Maharashtra) which remains open on Sunday, recorded auctions at INR 55 per kg/kg. This means there are chances that the rates may touch INR 65/kg at the retail vendor. Usually, retail vendors charge a markup of INR 10 on bulk rates, said trade sources.

Jaiprakash Wasani of Pankaj Traders said much depends on the situation on Monday. “There are chances that the supply may increase from Monday onwards. This may help bring rates down to the original level of INR 50/kg at least,” he said.

With supplies from Nashik and Dhule almost at an end, the market in Nagpur is depending on arrivals from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Traders in the southern states too are short of stock and not sending large orders.

Narendra Seth, an onion trader from Hyderabad, said arrivals from cultivation centres like Kurnool came down to 60 trucks as against the regular tally of 100 in a day. Rains have damaged the crop in some areas. For the Nagpur market, these are signs of the rates further going up in the coming days.

Ravi Kumar of Ravi Trading Company in Bengaluru said the crop from Karnataka has been delayed by over a fortnight due to the dry spells. “It may be too early to predict, though it seems the output may be enough, except in some places like Hubli, where the rains were deficient. Even a few showers before the harvest can lead to major losses,” he said.

What worries Kumar is the projection about drought in Maharashtra hampering fresh crop too. “In that case, even at its peak level, Karnataka may not be able to supply more than 1,000 trucks. The total requirement goes beyond 3,000 vehicles on daily basis,” he said.


Meanwhile, the Centre has stepped in to reign in potentially ultra high prices. It has floated a tender of 10,000 tonnes for August 27 while also increasing the minimum export price to USD 700/tonne with the aim to increase supply in the domestic market.

Prices of the kitchen staple have been rising due to a decline in production to 18.92 million tonnes (mt) in 2014-15 from 19.04 mt the year before due to inclement weather conditions. The Ministry also said the Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) and the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed) had procured 5.857 tonnes of onions funded out of the price stabilisation fund. The SFAC has procured 2,511 tonnes separately for Delhi and is supplying the bulb at INR 30.50/kg to Safal stores, being retailed for INR 39/kg.

Delhites can also buy onions for INR 35/kg from 120 Delhi Milk Scheme booths. Prices at 280 fair price shops have been reduced to INR 30/kg from August 12.

The Centre had amended the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, on July 1, to enable States and Union Territories to impose stock limits on onions for a year i.e., up to July 2, 2016.

Source: Times of India & Hindu BusinessLine

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