High-quality onions from Maharashtra flood markets

Wholesale prices of the kitchen staple is hovering around ₹30 a kg from a high of ₹90 over the last two months

After a severe shortage of over three months, fresh stock of onions have flooded markets in the city, bringing a price correction, much to the relief of households and hoteliers. The wholesale price of onions that had reached ₹90 a kg over the last two months, is now down to ₹30 a kilo, said Ravi Kumar from the Bangalore Onion and Potato Traders’ Association. At present, onions are retailing at around ₹45, but a price correction over the next two weeks is expected.

Onions are a staple ingredient but consumers were upset not only by the high prices but also by the low quality that was being sold. The new onions, a fresh harvest from Maharashtra, are dry and of a high quality.

Shubha J., a software engineer, said that for the three months when the price of onions peaked, it had been tough cooking. “We use onions almost every day. Even if you were ready to pay, there were no quality onions available in the market. Most of them were wet and sprouted, and would spoil in just a matter of days. The arrival of new onions is something to celebrate,” she said.

Chandrashekhar Hebbar, president, Karnataka Regional Hotels and Restaurants’ Association, said they were happy that good quality onions had come back with a price connection. “Onions are a staple, especially in North Indian and Chinese cuisines. Even South Indian too, we had stopped selling onion dosas over the last three months, which we will reintroduce now. The ideal price for us would be at ₹25, a kilo, which we hope it will come down to in the next few weeks,” he said.

According to Ravi Kumar, a new crop has been harvested in Nashik and surrounding districts of Maharashtra, which has been flooding the State’s markets over the last one week. “The previous crop was severely damaged due to heavy rains and floods, which had made the onions wet. Thankfully, there were no untimely rains this season, and the onions are of a good quality,” he explained.

After the previous crop was damaged due to floods, leading to a price escalation in the market, many farmers have planted a second crop in the State in the hope of cashing in on the rally in prices, sources said. “The second crop in our State – in Belagavi, Haveri and Molakalmuru – is expected to be harvested by month end. There are crops that have been harvested in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, most of which are flooding markets in North India already. So the harvest of the crop in the State is unlikely to have a market in other States, and this will likely create a glut in the market, crashing the prices further,” explained a senior onion trader at Yeshwanthpur APMC Yard.

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