New Delhi: Due to tight domestic supplies, retail onion prices have shot up to Rs 50-65 per kg in most cities.
Sources claimed the retail onion prices have shot up due to a delay in the arrival of the fresh Kharif harvest.
In Lasalgaon, the country’s largest wholesale market for the red bulb, the prices of onions are up by 25% in the last five days. Modal prices have been hovering above the Rs 3000 per quintal-mark.
According to some newspaper reports, the prices of onions have skyrocketed to Rs 120-130 per kg in some of the cities in south India.
According to senior officials, the Centre may re-impose the MEP (Minimum Export Price) to check the outflow of supplies and bring down the prices. The MEP had been scrapped in December 2015 as a reaction to falling prices.
According to Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics data (DGCIS), India’s onion export rose by 56% to 1.23 million tonnes in April-July this year. However, the govt is said to be importing onions from Egypt and China to cater to the local demand.
As the prices of onion have skyrocketed to Rs 50-65 per kg due to tight supply in most retail markets, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said here on Wednesday that government will import onions in order to boost supplies and check prices. “The State-run MMTC will import 2,000 tonnes of onion, while Nafed and SFAC will buy 12,000 tonnes locally,” said Paswan.
He said that his ministry has again written to the commerce ministry to reimpose export floor price of $700 per tonne on onion to discourage outbound shipments.
“We have asked Nafed (National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India) to procure 10,000 tonnes and SFAC (Small Farmers Agriculture-business Consortium) about 2,000 tonnes directly from farmers and sell in consuming areas. We have also asked the MMTC to import 2,000 tonnes,” Paswan told reporters.
Onion prices have been under pressure since August, but they have now touched high level that the government is trying all means to improve the availability and control prices.
While the private traders have imported 11,400 tonnes in the last few months, now the government agency MMTC will soon float tenders to import 2,000 tonnes in two tranches.
Hindusthan Samachar/Amit Kumar