Prices of onions usually go up in November, a lean month when availability dips. This year, however, steady supplies have caused prices to crash. Wholesale rates in November have dropped to their lowest level in a year at Lasalgaon agricultural produce market committee, Asia’s largest trading hub for the commodity.
Prices of some food items, where seasonality plays a big role, tend to be volatile. Onion is one of them. Now, traders say the government has been releasing onions routinely from its buffer stock to keep retail prices steady. At Lasalgaon, the average quality onion is selling at a wholesale price of ₹10-15 a kg, while cost of cultivation comes to ₹22-25, said Bharat Dighole, president of the Maharashtra State Onion Growers’ Association.
The federal government has built a record reserve of 250,000 ton of onions for 2022-23 to deal with potential spikes in prices during the lean season that starts around August and lasts till December. The move is aimed at keeping a lid on food inflation.
Prices of onion are now nearly 4% cheaper at the retail level than last year, official data show, with all-India retail and wholesale prices averaging ₹42-44 kg and ₹37.06 kg respectively in Delhi in the first fortnight of November.
[ ₹100 = €1.20 ]