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Cheaper onions soon: Govt orders fresh supply from Turkey; contracts this much additional tonnes

There are several reasons that contributed to a hike in onion prices.

With onion prices still high at Rs 100 per kg, the government has placed a fresh supply of onions to be imported to the country. An additional 12,500 million tonnes of onions from Turkey have been contracted, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution said on Thursday. “This is likely to immediately reduce the prices and improve overall availability,” the statement added. The latest order will begin arriving in India from mid-January onwards and the same will be supplied to various States as per their respective demand. With the latest order, the total imports contracted so far have reached 42,500 million tonnes. Out of this, 12,000 million tonnes will be in the country before 31 December 2019.

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With fresh supplies soon to hit the market, onion prices are likely to go down in coming weeks and may plunge by Rs 20-25 per kg, Jaydatta Sitaram Holkar, a director at Agricultural Produce Market Committee, a state-run wholesale market for farm commodities at Lasalgaon in Maharashtra, said, Bloomberg reported. However, according to the RBI, the prices of vegetables are not expected to come down any soon and the upsurge of the past few months is likely to continue, the central bank said in its latest bi-monthly Monetary Policy meet. 

The great onion price hike

There are several reasons that contributed to a hike in onion prices. Firstly, there was a fall in onion production this year which also reflected on arrivals in September, October and November. In Maharashtra, the crop harvest was delayed owing to prolonged monsoon. Further, states such as Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh witnessed crop damage due to floods. While the country waits for fresh produce from Gujarat to arrive, the onion prices are expected to remain high. Many tonnes of onion crop also got wasted because of lack of proper storage facility which ultimately had an impact on availability.

Source: Financial Express