Imports lower onion prices before Diwali in Maharashtra

At the start of the Diwali season, onion prices in Maharashtra state retail and wholesale markets have seen a sharp correction due to the influx of imported goods. At least 28,000 tonnes of onions from Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey and other countries have arrived in India and absorbed mostly by the hotel and restaurant sector. However, delay in the arrival of fresh crop can raise onion prices over the following weeks, experts said.

After touching the year’s high at Rs 7,100 per 100 kgs at Lasalgaon’s wholesale market on October 20, onion prices saw sharp corrections in the last few weeks due to imposition of stock limits and easing of imports. The federal government reintroduced stock limit restrictions on onions on October 24 after export bans and easing of imports had failed to bring down prices.

Ajit Shah, president of the Onion Exporters Importers Association of India, said the landed cost of the imported bulb in the country is Rs 4,000 per 100 kgs. “Such arrivals are helping bring down prices,” he said.

The average traded price at Lasalagaon’s wholesale market is now Rs 3,500-4,000 per 100 kgs. On Monday, the bulb traded at Rs 4,200 per 100 kgs. Traders expect prices to rise on Wednesday, the last trading is to take place before markets close for their annual 10-day Diwali vacation.

But in the long run, onion prices could rise again as the new kharif or late kharif crop is likely to be delayed by more than a month.

[ Rs 100 = €1.10 ]


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