Onion prices surge, government mulls imposing stock limits

Trade data showed retail onion prices skyrocketing to Rs 70-80 per kg towards the end of the last week from Rs 50-60/kg in the previous week.

Published: 23rd September 2019 02:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd September 2019 10:13 AM   |  A+A-

A labourer rests near sacks of onion at the Azadpur Mandi, a major market of the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee, in New Delhi on Sunday. | (Arun Kumar | EPS)

A labourer rests near sacks of onion at the Azadpur Mandi, a major market of the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee, in New Delhi on Sunday. | (Arun Kumar | EPS)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Centre is mulling imposing stock limits on onion traders as the retail prices of the key kitchen staple have shot up to Rs 70-80 per kg in the national capital and other parts of the country owing to supply disruption in the wake of excess monsoon rains in the major growing states, according to sources.

Trade data showed retail onion prices skyrocketing to Rs 70-80 per kg towards the end of the last week from Rs 50-60/kg in the previous week.

Onion prices are on the rise despite several measures taken by the central government to boost supply.

“The government has taken several measures in the last few weeks to improve the domestic supply and check the further increase in prices of onion. However, retail prices have suddenly shot up in the last 2-3 days because of supply disruption due to excessive rains in the growing states,” a source said.

It is a short-term supply disruption and if the situation does not normalise in the next 2-3 days and prices rise, then the government may consider seriously imposing stock holding limits on onion traders, the source said.

According to the Met Department, main onion producing regions especially Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, eastern Rajasthan and western Madhya Pradesh has received excess monsoon rainfalls in the last two days.

Right now, stored onions are sold in most parts of the country as fresh Kharif (summer) crop will hit the market from November onwards, traders said. Traders further said that there is enough supply of stored onion of the previous year’s crop in the country but its transportation has been affected because of heavy rains.

Much of the onion is stored in Maharashtra, where rains disrupted the transport of the kitchen staple to other parts of the country, said a wholesale trader from Lasalgoan in Maharasthra. The Centre has taken several measures to arrest the prices of onions. It is offloading onion from its buffer stock through agencies like Nafed and NCCF.

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