CHENNAI: Onion prices have hit a record high in the city, and is being sold at Rs 120 per kg in the wholesale market. The traders claim that it would soon breach Rs 150 mark as the promised imports from Turkey and Egypt are yet to reach Indian shores. In the retail market, the onion was being sold between RS 160 and Rs 180 per kg in places like Pattalam and suburbs, while it was priced at Rs 130 to Rs 140 in supermarkets.
The demand for onions is such that even the lesser-known quality from Andhra which have a shorter shelf life is being sold at Rs 100, burning a hole in the consumer’s pockets. While many have cut down on consumption, traders claim due to unavailability and lack of intervention from the government, the prices is likely to remain high, at least for a while.
Abdul Khader, secretary of Koyambedu Vegetable Wholesale Merchants’ Association and S Chandran, Market management Committee Licensed Merchants Association President and Anaithu Sangankalin Kootamaipu general secretary, told Express that they have never seen such a spurt in prices over the last 40 years, when they have been in business.
Chandran says the price is a record high. “The halfhearted measures to buy 20 per cent of the stock and sell it at a discount won’t help. The government has to purchase the entire stock and introduce in the market at competitive rates, to bring down the prices,” said Chandran. But why the surge? Traders claim lack of availability has pushed the prices up. The rains which have played havoc in Maharashtra has affected the crop. Onions were marketed from Karnataka to North India. As a result there was a huge demand and the price picked up.