NEW DELHI: For the second week in a row, onion prices on Tuesday stayed above the Rs 100 per kg mark, as government efforts to cool the rates seem to be taking more time than expected.
The rates were as high as Rs 165 a kg in Panaji, while the average of 114 major cities in the country came to over Rs 100, according to official data available here.
Onion prices started to climb from September and have averaged over Rs 100 per kg since November 25.
Onion, which is an essential ingredient in many food preparations, is a politically sensitive item and its high prices have been a cause of defeat for many governments in the past.
According to the data, onion prices are ruling at Rs 96 per kg in the national capital, Rs 102 per kg in Mumbai, Rs 100 in Chennai and Rs 140 per kg in Kolkata.
Onions are being sold at Rs 160 per kg in Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Mayabunder, and at Rs 150 per kg in Tirupati, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Palakkad.
In Bengaluru, Wayanad, Ramanathapuram and Port Blair, the rates stood at Rs 140 per kg.
Onion prices prevailed at Rs 120 per kg in Gurugram, Jagdalpur, Behrampur, Purulia, Maldah, Itanagar, Agartala, Puducherry, Dindigul, Tirunelveli and Dharmapuri.
In Amritsar, Surat, Jabalpur, Darbhanga, Sambalpur, Balasore and Gangtok, onion prices were Rs 110 per kg.
Onion rates are Rs 100 per kg in Chandigarh, Shimla, Mandi, Srinagar, Jammu, Ludhiana, Gorakhpur, Haridwar, Ahmedabad, Patna, Cuttack, Jeypore, Kharagpur, Raiganj, Shillong and Tiruchirappalli.
Last month, Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister attributed the rise in prices to a 26 per cent decline in domestic production during kharif and late-kharif seasons because of late monsoon followed by excess rains in major producing states such as Maharashtra and Karnataka.
The minister has been maintaining that the government has taken all possible steps to rein in prices such as imposing a ban on exports and allowing imports of 1.2 lakh tonnes to boost supply.
The Centre has also put restrictions on quantities of onions to be stocked by retailers and wholesalers.
On Monday, the Centre further reduced the stock holding limit for onion to 2 tonnes from 5 tonnes for retail traders.
Last week, the ministry had reduced the stock holding limit on wholesalers to 25 tonnes from 50 tonnes.
State-owned MMTC has already contracted over 21,000 tonnes and the shipment is expected to arrive from this week.
Experts are of the view that onion prices will remain firm till the first week of January when the late-kharif onions will start hitting the market.