Retail onion price has risen to Rs 50-60/kg in some parts of the country but the government said it is a “temporary phase” and the rates will cool down by the month-end with improved arrival of the kharif crop. Onion is being sold at over Rs 50/kg in the national capital, Mumbai and Kolkata. In Chennai, the price is ruling at Rs 45/kg, as per official data. A similar trend prevails in small cities as well. “It’s a temporary phase. Traders are taking advantage of the temporary ups and downs,” agriculture secretary SK Pattanayak said.
"But the fundamentals are strong. Though the onion crop is estimated to be slightly lower in the 2017-18 crop year (July-June), the total production would be sufficient to meet the domestic requirement," he added.
As per agriculture ministry’s data, the country’s onion production is estimated to decline by 4.5 per cent to 21.4 million tonnes in the 2017-18 crop year due to lower acreage as against 22.4 million tonnes last year.
Pattanayak said the prices of onion will get corrected with the increase in arrival of the crop in the coming days.
Nasik-based National Horticultural Research And Development Foundation’s (NHRDF) acting director PK Gupta said, “The arrival of the kharif onion is less at present and therefore prices are under pressure. The arrivals are expected to improve by end of the month and the prices will accordingly get corrected.”
The kharif onion output is expected to be lower as acreage was down by 20-25 per cent because of less rains during the sowing period in key growing states Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, he said.
Once the kharif crop arrives and later rabi onion crop hits the market, the retail price situation will automatically improve, Gupta added.