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Onion Becoming Cheaper after Export Ban, Stock Limits: Ram Vilas Paswan

Out of the central buffer stock of 56,000 tonne of onion, 18,000 tonne has been disposed of and about 15,000 tonne has dried owing to moisture loss, Paswan said.


Updated:October 3, 2019, 5:31 PM IST
Onion Becoming Cheaper after Export Ban, Stock Limits: Ram Vilas Paswan
File photo of LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan. (PTI)

New Delhi: Onion prices have started cooling down in both retail and wholesale markets in some parts of the country after the government banned exports of the key kitchen staple and imposed stock limits on traders, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Thursday.

Retail onion prices, which were ruling at Rs 60-70 per kg for the past few weeks in the national capital and some other parts of the country, declined to below Rs 60 per kg on Thursday, as per trade data.

"We have to take care of the interest of both farmers and consumers. Prices of onion have started declining after we banned export and imposed a stock limit of 100 quintals on retailers and 500 quintals on wholesale traders," Paswan told reporters.

Out of the central buffer stock of 56,000 tonnes of onion, 18,000 tonnes has been disposed of and about 15,000 tonnes has dried owing to moisture loss, he said.

"We still have 25,000 tonnes of onion in our stock. We are asking state governments to take (from the stock) and supply at Rs 23.90 per kg in their states and ensure prices are stable," the food and consumer affairs minister added.

Onion prices declined to below the Rs 30 per kg level at Lasalgaon in Maharashtra, Asia's largest wholesale market for the bulb crop, after the government banned its export and imposed a stock limit on traders.

The maximum wholesale rate of onion at Lasalgaon in Nashik district has started declining from the peak of Rs 51 per kg during mid-September, according to the data maintained by the National Horticulture Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF).

The modal wholesale price of onion was Rs 26 per kg on Thursday at the Lasalgaon Agriculture Produce Market Committee, while the maximum rate was Rs 30.20 per kg and the minimum was quoted Rs 15 per kg.

Lasalgaon mandi sets price trend for onion across the country. Any fluctuation in this market reflects in other parts.

Onion prices have been on the rise since August as floods in key growing states especially Maharashtra and Karnataka disrupted supplies. The likely fall in area sown to Kharif onion further put pressure on prices.

Right now, stored onion from rabi crop of last year is being sold in the market. The fresh Kharif crop is expected to hit the market from November onwards.

Since onion has been a politically sensitive crop, the government has taken several measures to boost its supply in the domestic market and contain price rise in retail markets, where prices are still ruling high at Rs 60-70 per kg.

In Delhi-NCR, cooperatives Nafed and NCCF, as well as state-owned Mother Dairy, are selling the buffer onion at a cheaper rate of Rs 23.90 per kg. They are lifting onion from the central buffer stock. Last week, the government banned the export of onion and imposed a stock limit on traders.

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