Maharashtra: Onion Prices Surge- What Prompted the Spike?

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The price of onions has witnessed a sudden spike, soaring by 40% in the Lasalgaon market of Nashik, just hours after the Indian government lifted the ban on onion exports. 

Although there hasn’t been any official announcement regarding the removal of the export ban, Minister of State and Nashik Rural MP, Bharti Pawar, revealed that the decision was made during a meeting led by Union Minister Amit Shah. 

The impact of this decision has swiftly translated into rising onion prices, also affecting the retail market.

Following the news of the export ban being lifted, the average price of onions in Lasalgaon surged from Rs 1,280 per quintal to Rs 1,800 per quintal. 

Approximately 10,000 quintals of onions were auctioned, with the minimum wholesale price at Rs 1,000 per quintal and the maximum at Rs 2,100 per quintal. Onion exporters have reportedly begun purchasing onions for foreign markets, contributing to the market price hike.

The ban on onion exports was initially imposed by the Central Government in December to curb escalating onion prices in the domestic market. 

However, discontent among onion producers and traders led to the government’s decision to lift the ban ahead of the scheduled deadline of March 31, 2024. 

Farmers expressed significant losses and an inability to cover production costs due to the ban. While no formal notification has been issued regarding the export ban removal, the move has ignited debates on its timing, with some speculating its connection to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.