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Onion prices in Karnataka likely to ease as supply soars in market

The Yeshavantpur agricultural market in Karnataka is experiencing a surge in onion supply, leading to a slight drop in wholesale rates. This may result in decreased retail prices in the next few days. However, the outlook remains uncertain, as market dynamics and farmer actions could influence future price trends. The central government's initiatives and the entry of Kharif crops are contributing to this development.

Onion prices in Karnataka likely to ease as supply soars in market vkp
First Published Nov 3, 2023, 11:40 AM IST

Consumers in Karnataka can soon expect some relief from the soaring onion prices as the Yeshavantpur agricultural produce market is witnessing an increase in onion supply, resulting in a modest drop in wholesale rates. If this surge in onion availability continues, it's likely that retail prices will decrease within the next three to four days.

Over the past month, the Yeshwantpur market had been receiving a mere 55,000 to 60,000 bags (each weighing 50 kg) of onions, with an additional 2,000 to 3,000 bags at the Dasanpur market. This scarcity has led to wholesale onion prices reaching an alarming ₹60-₹70 per kilogram, with retail prices surpassing ₹100 per kilogram. However, there is now a glimmer of hope.

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In the last three days, onion arrivals at the Yeshwantpur market have increased to an average of 80,000 bags, causing wholesale prices to decline to ₹50-₹55 per kilogram. Retail prices, while still on the higher side, have come down to around ₹70-₹80 per kilogram.

On a recent Thursday, the Yeshwantpur market received a substantial 79,670 bags of onions via 480 trucks, while 2,684 bags reached the Dasanpur sub-market through eight vehicles. Notably, 63,000 bags of onions arrived on the 28th, with an additional 53,000 bags on the 11th. This sudden surge in onion arrivals has had an impact on market prices.

However, it's uncertain whether onion prices have peaked and are now on a downward trend. The outlook for onion supplies in the coming weeks remains unclear, as many farmers and brokers may release their stored crop to the market, anticipating that prices will either stabilize or decrease further. This sentiment has already led to a price reduction of ₹5-₹10. If this trend continues, onion prices may further decrease, but a disruption in onion supply could lead to price hikes next week.

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The drop in onion prices can be attributed to the central government's initiative to sell onions held by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Union at ₹25 per kilogram and the imposition of a minimum export price (MEP) of $800 per tonne on exports. Additionally, the entry of Kharif crops from Rajasthan into the market has played a role in this development. If these factors persist, wholesale onion prices may potentially drop to ₹40. It's worth noting that onion prices may remain uncertain for another week.

B. Ravishankar, Secretary of the Bengaluru Onion and Potato Traders Association, acknowledged that while wholesale prices have decreased due to increased onion supply and government interventions, it may take a few more days for the retail market to adjust to these changes. The maximum price level for onions is still uncertain at this point.

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