Nationwide average retail price of onions down 60% from last year: government

The average retail price of onions across India has fallen 60% this year to Rs 40 per kg thanks to timely government interventions to boost supply, Consumer Secretary Leena Nandan said on Thursday.

Speaking to PTI, Nandan said there had been a sharp drop in onion prices across the country.

“In just one month, the average retail price of onion across India has fallen 33.33% to Rs 40 per kg today, from Rs 60 per kg on November 30 this year,” he said. she declared.

Since December 31, 2019, when the national average price reached Rs 100 per kg, it has now fallen to Rs 40 per kg, greatly relieving consumers, Nandan said.

In the national capital, the average price is even lower at Rs 30 per kg Thursday, against Rs 100 per kg on December 31, 2019, she said.

In Mumbai, the average price was Rs 48 per kg on Thursday against Rs 93 per kg a year ago, while it went from Rs 90 to Rs 40 per kg in Calcutta and from Rs 85 to Rs 42 per kg on said period. , according to data kept by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.

However, private traders said retail prices for onions vary based on quality and location compared to government price data.

Nandan said the 60% drop in the nationwide average price was made possible by timely government interventions taken since September.

Highlighting a series of measures taken to control onion prices, the secretary said the government initially banned the export of onions completely on September 14.

After that, a stock limit was imposed for three months from October 23 to December 31 on wholesalers and retailers. In the very first case, the government prescribed quantities that traders are allowed to store and it had an immediate impact, she said.

In addition, the government has facilitated the importation of onions to improve local supply and control rising prices.

“A lot of facilitation has been done at the Attari-Wagah border (Punjab) and in seaports for a rapid evacuation of imported onions. Good quantities of imported onions have arrived, ”she said.

According to the secretary, the government has taken measures to facilitate the importation from Afghanistan and other countries, as well as to import onions directly through the Nafed cooperative.

“Around 70,000 to 75,000 tonnes of onions were imported through private businesses in 2020. Nafed also imported around 3,000 tonnes of onions,” she said.

Nafed imported red onions of a particular dimension. taking into account the experience of last year, and immediately unloaded those in the local market that helped cool prices, she said.

“All of these measures taken together have resulted in a situation where the numbers speak for themselves,” she noted.

Asked about the rise in onion prices in the Lasalgaon wholesale market in Maharashtra after the government announced the lifting of the export ban from January 1, the secretary said: “It is good. If good quantities are entering the market, then there is no need to artificially restrict exports. There is a logic.

The measures to ban past exports were taken with the aim of controlling consumer prices which have an impact on consumer price inflation, she said.

Nandan said retail onion prices have cooled with the arrival of fresh kharif harvest products in the markets.

She also said that the country’s kharif onion production was as expected.

Going forward, the government has decided to increase the onion buffer stock from 1 lakh ton to 1.5 lakh ton for the rabi season of 2021, she added.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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