The retail prices of onion, which were skyrocketing for some weeks, have stabilised and started showing a declining trend, data available with the Ministry of Food and Consumer Affairs shows. The development assumes significance as it may provide some relief to Indian households amid the festival season, a time when consumer spending is likely to increase.
In Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, the price of the staple bulb has been steady at 62 Rs a kilo, Rs 82 a kilo, and Rs 70 a kilo, respectively for the past three days, while in Chennai, it has actually come down by Rs 7 a kilo from Rs 77, which was the rate during the last three days. On Wednesday, the retail price of onion was Rs 70 per kilo.
The all India average retail price of onions has fallen from Rs 65.51 a kilo to Rs 64.85 a kilo.
Additionally, what is especially heartening is the approximately one-third reduction in onion prices in the country's largest wholesale market at Lasalgaon, Maharashtra. The modal price of onion which was Rs 5,301 per quintal on November 2 has gone down to Rs 3,400 a quintal on November 4. This is important as the Lasalgaon market is a major supplier of onions for the country.
Last week, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Piuysh Goyal, while addressing a press conference, had expressed confidence that there will be no shortage of onions for consumers in the domestic market.
Goyal had also listed out various measures taken by the ministry, including banning the export of onion well in time, the release of 30,000 MT of onions from the Centre's buffer stock, imposition of stock limits on wholesellers at 25MT and retailers at 2 MT, relaxation of fumigation and quarantine norms to facilitate imports, distribution of onions through Kisan rail.
The minister had also said that while 7000 MT of onions had already arrived in the domestic market, 25,000 MT are expected by Diwali.
"So far, 7,000 tonnes of imported onions have already arrived. By Diwali, 25,000 tonnes of imported onions will arrive. New crop is also arriving in the markets. We are confident that onion prices will remain under control, there will be no shortage and consumers will get onions at reasonable prices', the minister had said.