Onion prices slide marginally; tomatoes and garlic remain costly

Onion prices slide marginally; tomatoes and garlic remain costly

New Delhi: Onion prices fell further by about 10 in the retail markets of major metros to 40-50 per kg on Sunday even as Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee exuded confidence that the situation will be in control soon.

“Export of onions has been banned and the import duty has been made zero. Besides, some imported onions are reaching the market. The prices have come down," he told reporters at his residence in Kolkata.

“The government is taking all possible steps and things will be in control soon," he added.

While retail prices of onions have started easing from their peak of 70-85 per kg earlier this week, tomato and garlic rates remain high, at 40-60 per kg and 250-300 per kg respectively.

Prices of onions had surged due to crop damage in the major producing region of Maharashtra, besides hoarding.

Onion prices at retail outlets in the national capital dropped further to 40-50 a kg today from the 50-60 per kg level seen in the last two days, traders said.

There was a decline in the prices of onions in Kolkata and Chennai, too. Prices of the commodity fell by 10 a kg and were ruling at 40-50/kg in the two metros, depending on the quality.

However, prices remained high in the financial capital of Mumbai, where the going rate was 60-75 a kg.

In order to maintain adequate supply of onions in the city, the Delhi government kept Azadpur market (Asia’s biggest wholesale fruits & vegetables market) open even on Sunday to facilitate the sale and purchase of the politically sensitive item.

“Not much sale was witnessed in the mandi today. Fresh arrival of onion was very low. There was some sale from yesterday’s stock," Onion Merchants Association general secretary Rajendra Sharma told PTI.

Explaining the reason behind the rise in food prices, Mukherjee said: “Some fruits, vegetables and milk have an element of seasonality in them and sometimes in the market, there is gap in the demand and supply of products, which leads to the increase in their prices... Ultimately, it depends on the series of the core chain."