Price of onions has nearly doubled over the past fortnight in Chennai.

Just as Chennai residents have adjusted their household budgets to accommodate the recent fuel price hike, they now have further worry in the form of soaring vegetable prices.

The price of onions has nearly doubled over the past fortnight and is now between Rs. 36 and Rs. 40 in retail markets.

Shanthi Subramanian, a resident of Nolambur, said shopkeepers have removed the price tags of a few vegetables like beans (Rs. 90/kg) and broad beans (Rs. 60/kg). “I hosted lunch for eight persons a few days ago. I spent Rs. 875 on vegetables alone. Even a bunch of coriander leaves is priced at Rs. 22,” she said.

Traders at the Koyambedu wholesale market said the soaring heat and lack of rains have led to poor yield. On Thursday, Chennai experienced a maximum temperature of 39.2 degrees Celsius, three degrees more than the normal temperature. Delay in the onset of sea breeze resulted in a hot July day.

Of late, Koyambedu market has been getting 300 lorry loads of produce daily, about 100 truck loads less than usual.

Hailstorm that hit Maharashtra — from where Chennai receives a major share of produce — a few months ago, damaged onion crops.

For the past few days, onion prices have been steadily rising in the wholesale market. On Thursday, the wholesale price of onions stood at Rs. 30/kg.

However, traders said there is no hoarding in the market and there is not much difference between wholesale and retail prices.

In the retail market, the prices of green chilli and potato have jumped to Rs. 45/kg and Rs. 34/kg, respectively, an increase of Rs. 10 from more than a fortnight ago. Cauliflowers, carrots, brinjals and drumsticks are also expensive.

S. Chandran, a wholesale trader, said the prices have gone up by a minimum of 10 per cent due to fewer arrivals from other States. The recent hike in fuel prices has also added to escalating costs. The same trend will continue for a month until the rains resume.

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