Onion, a politically-sensitive commodity, remained costliest in the retail markets of Bengaluru at Rs 100 per kg on Monday despite Karnataka being the third-largest producer of the kitchen staple in the country, according to government data. The lowest price quoted was Rs 35/kg in only two cities — Udaipur in Rajasthan and Rampurhat in Birbhum district of West Bengal — out of the 114 cities where price trends are monitored on a daily basis by the government.
The average all-India daily price of onion was ruling as high as Rs 70/kg on Monday. Consumers even in the growing regions are paying elevated rates for the key kitchen item.
Despite Maharashtra being the top onion producing state in the country, retail price of the commodity in Mumbai was a hefty Rs 77/kg. A similar situation prevailed in Delhi, one of the major consuming markets, where retail prices were firm at Rs 65 per kg, in Kolkata at Rs 70 per kg and Chennai at Rs 72 per kg on Monday, as per the government data.
Retail prices maintained by the government are normally lower by Rs 10-20 per kg than the trade data as prices differ depending on the quality and locality. Onion prices have soared for the last few weeks due to tight supplies following damage to this year’s kharif crop in the wake of heavy rainfall in the key growing states of Maharashtra and Karnataka.
However, the government has taken several measures, including banning exports and imposition of stock limits on traders, to boost the domestic supply and keep the prices under check till the arrival of fresh crop by end of this month. The government is also increasing domestic availability by releasing buffer stock of onion as well as relaxing norms for imports via private trade till December.
Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka are the top three onion growing states in India.