Wholesale onion prices slide 20 pc in Lasalgaon, Manmad

At Lasalgaon mandi, wholesale onion prices fell by 20 per cent to Rs 3,200 a quintal for best quality onions from Rs 4,000 per quintal yesterday.

This was despite the fact that just 9,000 quintals of onions made their way into the Lasalgaon market today, compared to 12,000 quintals yesterday, according to data compiled by the National Horticulture Research and Development Foundation.

However, prices of best quality onions rose by 15 per cent at Pimpalgaon, another major market in Maharashtra's Nashik district.

Earlier this week, the government imposed an indefinite ban on exports and permitted duty-free imports of onions to bring down soaring prices, which had gone up to as high as Rs 85 per kg in some major cities.

State-owned trading agencies STC, MMTC and PEC have also been asked to step up imports of onions from all possible sources, taking cues from private traders, who had imported about 1,500 tonnes of the staple vegetable from Pakistan till yesterday since Monday this week.

In the last four days, onion prices have declined by nearly 50 per cent at Lasalgaon to Rs 3,200 from Rs 6,299 per quintal on December 20.

At Manmad, onion prices today fell to Rs 2,899 from yesterday's Rs 3,500 per quintal despite a slowdown in arrivals to 3,500 quintals from 7,500 quintals. The rates have fallen by nearly 50 per cent in this market during the last four days, from Rs 5,576 per quintal on December 20 to Rs 2,899 per quintal yesterday.

However, in another key market, Pimpalgaon, wholesale prices of onion today rose to Rs 3,500 per quintal from Rs 3,031 a quintal yesterday. Nevertheless, prices of onions have gone down by 44 per cent in Pimpalgaon during the last four days -- from Rs 6,273 per quintal on December 20 to Rs 3,500 yesterday.

The average (modal) prices of onion in all these three markets fell and were ruling at Rs 1,800-2,000 per quintal.

The declining wholesale rates have started getting reflected in the retail markets of major metros, with onion prices softening by Rs 10 per kg yesterday.

In order to provide relief to the common man, the government is selling onions at Rs 40 per kg in Delhi through retail outlets of Mother Dairy (288 stores), Nafed (5), Kendriya Bhandar (85) and National Consumer Co-operative Federation (13 retail outlets).

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