New Delhi: Onion prices continue to rule at high levels in metros across the country, where the staple vegetable is being sold for Rs 40-65/kg, depending on the quality.
Onion prices stood at Rs 40-50 per kg in the retail markets of the national capital, Mumbai and Kolkata today, but the commodity was dearer in Chennai, at Rs 60-65 per kg, according to reports from these centres.
Traders in Delhi`s Azadpur mandi said onion prices are unlikely to witness a sharp fall before the arrival of fresh crops, which is expected to begin by the middle of this month.
The supply of onions from Rajasthan to Delhi has been low due to higher retail prices in Jaipur and other cities in the state vis-a-vis the national capital, they said, adding that the Gujjar agitation has also affected supply.
In order to provide relief to consumers, the Centre plans
to sell imported onions in retail markets through outlets of
State-owned trading agencies PEC and STC have entered
agreements for the import of 1,000 tonnes of onions from
Pakistan and these would start coming to India this week,
sources had said yesterday.
On December 20-21, onion prices had skyrocketed to Rs
70-85/kg in major cities from Rs 30-35 in early December due
to crop damage in the key growing states of Maharashtra and
Karnataka on account of abnormal rainfall.
The Centre had banned onion exports and abolished import
duty to boost domestic supply and curb rising onion prices,
which helped bring down the prices to some extent. However,
they are still quite high.
According to government data, onion retail prices stood
at Rs 52/kg in Delhi and Mumbai, Rs 50/kg in Chennai and Rs
40/kg in Kolkata on December 31, 2010.
India`s output of onions -- which are cultivated thrice a
year -- stood at 12 million tonnes in 2009-10, but is expected
to decline to 10.5 million tonnes in 2010-11.