High transport cost leads to increased onion prices across Kolkata retail markets

Onion prices are again going up, partly because of higher carrying costs from Nashik, Bellary or Akula, and partly because of the complete exhaustion of Bengal’s own production, Sukhsagar. On Sunday, onions were sold at Rs 40 a kg across retail markets in the city while, on May 15, the price had been Rs 22-Rs 25 a kg.

Bengal’s annual onion consumption is 850,000 tons if the weather is favorable. This year, the state had a very good crop, which had so far stabilized prices. However, diesel prices have risen by Rs 5.12 a litre since April 6. “There has not been any shortage in supply as onion production has been good. But the transportation cost has gone up enough to make onion dearer in Kolkata,” Kamal Dey, member of the market task force, told timesofindia.indiatimes.com.

The prices had been under check because of steady supply of Bengal’s own onion. Traders sent some to other states due to the absence of cold-storages and the rest was used for domestic consumption. The wholesale price of onion that was hovering around Rs 1,000-Rs 1,050 per 40kg bag on May 15 has risen to Rs 1,150-Rs 1,200 a bag, said Abhijit Saha, a wholesale trader at Tollygunge. The retail price, thus, rose automatically.

Amit Saha, an onion retailer at Maniktala market, said, “We are buying onions at Rs 33-Rs 35 a kg. If we sell below Rs 40 a kg, we will incur a loss.”

[ Rs100 = €1.10 ]

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