For over a fortnight now, the price of onions has continued to remain high because of restricted supply to the city.
The retail price of onions in the city ranges between Rs. 55 to Rs. 62 per kg, depending on the locality.
However, wholesale traders said the price had remained stable over the past few days and they expect it to come down gradually over the next month.
The price of the vegetable shot up as the Koyambedu wholesale market has only been receiving 40 truck-loads of onions as against its usual supply of 60-70 truck-loads daily. Though the market gets its produce from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, onions from Nashik in Maharashtra contribute 50 per cent of the supply.
Wholesale traders said that the city depends primarily on produce from Nashik as it produced onions throughout the year, whereas in other States, onion is a seasonal crop.
S.G.S. Natarajan, a wholesale onion trader said normally, there was a 30-40 per cent stock of onions at this time of the year. But this year, Maharashtra has only 10 per cent of its stock owing to poor harvests and so, the city has been getting only a limited supply.
“We have started receiving onions from Karnataka and Kurnool. But the supply is erratic and the quality is poor because of the rains,” he added.
Traders are confident that the price will decrease gradually when fresh stock arrives from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in the next fortnight. A new crop from Maharashtra is also expected to hit the market by the end of September. A few curbs on the import trade would also help bring down prices, traders said.
The escalating cost of this essential vegetable has forced residents to look for cheaper options. The Farm Fresh vegetable outlets for instance, are offering onions at Rs. 40 per kg. Officials said they had recently got their produce from Surandai in Tirunelveli.
However, other retailers said sales had only dipped marginally.