Kolkata: Onions are known to tumble governments in India. At least on three occasions, onions have shown its political muscles to the incumbent government. Retail onion prices on Thursday rose to Rs 50 per kg in Kolkata, while rates in other metro cities also inched up to 30-36/kg due to likely tight supplies.
The Agriculture and Consumer Affairs ministries are closely watching the price situation and alerted all states to keep a check on hoarding and profiteering.
Onion prices at Lasalgaon in Maharasthra, Asia’s biggest wholesale onion market, have risen to Rs 26.50 per kg today from Rs 10.10 per kg on July 25 of this year.
As per the data maintained by the Consumer Affairs Ministry, onion prices in Kolkata are ruling at Rs 50/kg in retail markets and Rs 40/kg in wholesale markets today.
At present, the city’s demand is met through supplies largely from Kurnool mandis, Andhra Pradesh and there too rates have increased to over Rs 32.50/kg.
With rise in prices in Lasalgaon, traders from Kolkata and other states are buying more from Kurnool mandis because of which rates have gone up there, a Delhi trader said.
The prices are under pressure due to depleting old stock and expected less 2017-18 kharif output owing to lower sowing area in states like Karnataka and Maharashtra on account of inadequate rains, he added.
The arrival of the early kharif crop has begun in Andhra Pradesh. But, the arrival of the kharif crop would begin in full swing from September. Till then, the pressure on availability and prices would continue, agri-experts added. About 30-40 per cent of the country s total production comes from the kharif season and the rest from the rabi season.