Onion Price: Last week, the market price of onion at Delhi’s Azadpur Mandi dropped from Rs 60-65 per kg to Rs 30-40 per kg. According to market traders, the fall followed the government’s intervention to set the minimum export price (MEP) at $800 per tonne on October 28. To increase the availability of onions in the domestic market and reduce prices, the government on October 28 fixed the MEP on onion exports at $800 per tonne till December 31. A MEP of $800 per tonne equates to around Rs 67 per kg. According to traders, the onset of supply of kharif crops from Rajasthan has boosted market supply as well as government disposal.
The government has started selling onions through NAFED, due to which the prices are falling. Azadpur Mandi is Asia’s largest wholesale market for fruits and vegetables. However, the latest data from the Department of Consumer Affairs shows that the retail price of onion in the national capital, Delhi, is at Rs 78 per kg. 15 days ago the price was Tk 40 per kg. The average price of onion across the country is Tk 56.63 per kg. Meanwhile, the highest price was Tk 90 per kg; The model price was Rs 60 per kg, and the lowest onion price was Rs 18 per kg. On November 1, the average wholesale price of onion was Tk 4,657.46, which was Tk 3,476.21 a week ago.
When did the wave come from?
Soon after Navratri ended on October 24, onion prices shot up. So far onion was selling at 35 to 40 taka per kg. Onion prices are expected to rise throughout the festive season. Delay in Kharif onion sowing due to weather causes low yield and late harvest. The supply situation is poor due to depletion of rabi onion stocks and late arrival of kharif onions. Due to this, prices are increasing in both wholesale and retail markets. But the government is trying so that the price does not reach 100 rupees. According to the Department of Consumer Affairs, the government is increasing the sale of onion in the retail market to keep the price of onion under control.
Sale at discounted rate of Rs.25/kg
According to news agency PTI, to give relief to consumers from high onion prices, the central government decided on October 27 to increase the sale of onions from ‘buffer stock’ in the retail market at a subsidized rate of Rs 25 per kg. According to Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh, the government has been supplying onions from ‘buffer stock’ since mid-August. Retail sales are being extended to prevent further rise in prices and provide relief to consumers. According to the ministry, in states where prices are rising rapidly, onion is being supplied from ‘buffer stock’ in both the wholesale and retail markets. Around 1.7 lakh tonnes of onions have been supplied from ‘buffer stock’ to various locations in 22 states since mid-August.
In the retail market, onions are being sold at a subsidized rate of Rs 25 per kg from ‘buffer stock’ through shops and vehicles of the National Consumer Co-operative Federation of India (NCCF) and the National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation of India, two co-operatives. (NAFED). In Delhi too, ‘buffer stock’ onions are being sold at the same subsidized rate.
The government doubled the buffer stock in FY24
The government has doubled the ‘buffer stock’ for onion in the current year 2023-24. This will improve domestic availability and curb rising prices in the coming days. The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has maintained a ‘buffer stock’ of five lakh tonnes through NCCF and NAFED for the financial year 2023-24 and plans to procure an additional two lakh tonnes of onion in the coming days. The 40 percent export duty on onion, which was imposed by the Center on August 20 to curb price hike, continues.