The average wholesale onion prices at the Lasalgaon APMC, India's largest wholesale onion market, have dropped by 30% in the past three days despite the federal government lifting ban on onion exports.
The average wholesale onion price has dropped to Rs 1,200 per 100 kgs now, against Rs 1,750 on Saturday.
"The demand for onions in the domestic market as well as in international markets has drastically dropped due to the coronavirus outbreak. The demand for onion exports has also reduced due to the same reason. This has led to an overall drop in average wholesale onion prices," said the APMC officials.
Some traders have stopped buying of onions and have decided to wait and watch the scenario till April 1, said APMC sources.
Around 16,000 quintals of onions were auctioned at Lasalgaon on Wednesday. The minimum and maximum wholesale onion prices were recorded at Rs 1,000 and Rs 1,400 per 100 kgs respectively.
APMC officials said the arrivals of summer onions will increase more by the first week of April. Late kharif onions have a shelf life of less than a month and the produce beings to tot thereafter.
Hence, farmers can't store summer onions and they have no choice but to sell the produce at the prevailing market rates. On the contrary, summer onions have a shelf life of six months and farmers prefer storing this stock with the hope of getting better prices.
[ Rs 100 = EUR 1.27 ]