Due to the declining onion imports from abroad, the price of the staple vegetable is once again set to soar even while there is a large supply of onions coming from Rajasthan.
The retail price of onions in the national capital is between Rs 50 to Rs 70 per kg while the wholesale price ranges from Rs 15 to Rs 47.5 per kg which had fallen slightly to Rs 42 per kg before the Diwali season.
According to traders, there are slim chances of getting a respite from the rising onion prices before December this year. However, there is some relief as the prices of potatoes sharply declined due to the fresh inflow of the crop.
The increase in onion prices is being attributed to the decrease in imports even as the fresh supply of onions from Rajasthan is in full flow to various parts of the country, including north India.
Traders say that in the last few days due to the increasing supply of locally-produced onions, the pace of onion imports has slowed down.
Horticulture Produce Exporters Association President, Ajit Shah, said the import of onions has not stopped but it has considerably reduced. He said that onions have also been imported from Turkey this week. At present, although onions are coming from Rajasthan, its price will fall only when onions from Nashik in Maharashtra flood the markets, Shah added.
He said the old stock of onions in Nashik is almost depleted so there is no scope of a sharp fall in their prices at present. Shah believes that the prices of onions will not record any sharp decline before December this year.
In New Delhi's Azadpur Mandi, the wholesale price of onions on Monday was fixed between Rs 15 to Rs 47.50 per kg while the retail price of onions in Delhi-NCR was between Rs 50 to Rs 70 per kg. At the same time the wholesale price of potatoes was between Rs 20 to Rs 36 per kg while the retail price was less than Rs 50.
Azadpur Mandi Trader and Potato and Onion Merchant Association General Secretary, Rajendra Sharma, said the supply of onions from Rajasthan is in full swing yet its prices have not reported a fall. There is still some time before the fresh onion crop enters other parts of the country. This is why in the absence of onion imports, its price may soar further.
To keep the onion prices under control, the Central government had banned the export of onions on September 14, 2020. On October 23, the limit on keeping onion stocks for wholesale and retail traders was fixed according to which retailers could keep a maximum onion stock of two tonne and wholesalers could keep a maximum stock of 25 tonne. The government has imposed the stock limit on onions till December 31 along with relaxation in the import regulations.