Supply crunch: Onion prices hit the roof

The  hike in onion prices is burning a gaping hole in the pockets of  middle class, which is forcing many to cut down  consumption of onion.

Published: 12th August 2017 08:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th August 2017 08:35 AM   |  A+A-

A vendor arranging onions to be sold at Monda market in Hyderabad on Friday | r satish babu

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The price of onions in the city has hit the roof again.  The  hike in onion prices is burning a gaping hole in the pockets of  middle class, which is forcing many to cut down  consumption of onion. Prices in the wholesale and retail markets have more than doubled in just one week and are expected to increase more in the coming days.Onion prices in the city are ruling anywhere between `40 and `50 per kilo on Friday, as against  `10 to `15 per kilo last week.  Rythu Bazaars are selling them for `28 per kilo.

“Last time it was tomatoes and now it is onions, both are essential ingredients.  With the rise in the prices we are forced to increase our monthly vegetable budget,”  Y Sujatha Reddy, a homemaker from Mehdipatnam, said. As per the data maintained by onion wholesale market in Malakpet, the city has a supply of nearly 12,000 bags ie 6,000 quintals per day. And the sudden increase in the prices can be attributed to low production and supply from Maharashtra and other neighbouring states.

“Almost 90 per cent supply comes from Maharashtra and 10 per cent from erstwhile Mahbubnagar district and some parts of Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh,” said J Ananthaiah, selection grade officer at Malakpet wholesale market.And if wholesalers are to be believed, big traders in Maharashtra are deliberately holding up the stock for weeks in cold storage, which is resulting in the huge hike. “To get more profit, traders are holding the stock and creating an artificial scarcity. 

Actually, compared to past years, production of onion is very high in Maharashtra this year,” said a wholesale dealer in Malakpet. Meanwhile, prices of tomatoes have come down drastically compared to last few months. On Friday, tomatoes were being sold at between `43 and `50 per kilo as against `90 per kilo in July.

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