Onion Prices May Surge Across Maharashtra Markets

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Recently, there has been a significant increase in the prices of onions in the well-known markets of Nashik and Chakan districts in Maharashtra. Wholesale prices have surged by ten rupees per kilogram, reaching a peak of Rs 22 per kg in the Chakan market, which is also being reflected in the pricing trends of Nashik.

Onion prices have increased not just in ”Maharashtra, but also in other states, with onions selling for Rs 25 to 27 per kg, even in Delhi.” The rise in prices is due to the government’s decision to export onions to Bangladesh and the UAE, which has led to a shortage of onions in the domestic market.

Exporters and traders anticipate further increases, with some predicting onions to hit Rs 30 per kg. A key factor influencing this surge is the government’s approval to export 400,000 tons of onions, with 50,000 tons earmarked for Bangladesh and 14,400 tons for the UAE. This move comes after a ban on onion exports was lifted in February, following a hiatus from December 2023 to March 2024.

The Ministry of Commerce, in a notification, confirmed the approval, emphasizing the economic viability for farmers and traders. Last year’s export ban led to a supply surplus, causing prices to plummet to as low as eight to thirteen rupees per kg. Farmers bore significant financial losses, prompting the government to reconsider the export ban.

While this decision is expected to benefit farmers and traders, there are concerns about the economic viability in the countries permitted for export, except the UAE. Experts suggest that the export surge might not be substantial due to limited demand in other countries.

Market dynamics are already reflecting the change, as the Mahatma Phule market in Chakan witnesses the sale of exportable onions. Currently, onion imports in the Pune district have increased to 17 to 20 thousand quintals, indicating a shift in the market trend. Market officials, including Secretary Balasaheb Dhandre and Director of Market Committee Manik Gore, confirm the rising influence of exports in the region.