Nasik: Onion prices at the Lasalgaon mandi in Maharashtra, Asia's biggest market for the kitchen staple, declined by over 11 percent to Rs 1,000 per quintal Thursday, a day after the government announced a sharp increase in the minimum export price (MEP) for the commodity.
"The wholesale price of onions at Lasalgaon and the Pimpalgaon and Manmad mandis in Maharashtra fell due to a hike in the MEP," R C Gupta, Director of the National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF), which monitors onion cultivation, said.
Exporters are not making purchases in the wholesale market because of the higher MEP. The supply of onions is sufficient to meet domestic demand, he said.
Presently, onion stocks -- the bulk of which are stored in Maharashtra -- are sold across the country as the fresh crop is expected to arrive from next month.
On retail prices, Gupta said, "The impact on retail prices would depend on traders, on whom the government has no control."
At Lasalgaon, the wholesale price of onions declined to Rs 1,000 per quintal today from Rs 1,125 per quintal yesterday, he said.
Similarly, onion prices at Pimpalgaon and Manmad fell Thursday to Rs 900 and Rs 951 per quintal, respectively, from 1,070 per quintal yesterday , he added.
Yesterday, the government had raised the MEP of onions by USD 175 per tonne to USD 475 per tonne to discourage exports and check rising domestic prices of the kitchen staple.
Retail prices of onions have gone up by Rs 10 per kg in the last one-and-a-half months and they are being sold at Rs 25 per kg in the national capital.
Onion production in 2011-12 is estimated at 151.36 lakh tonnes, which will be higher than the last year's production of 145.62 lakh tonnes. Onions are grown in three seasons -- kharif (summer), late kharif and rabi (winter).
First Published: Thursday, September 8, 2011, 16:21