After dipping slightly early this month, it is now Rs. 60 per kg in most retail stores in city
The price of onions which dipped slightly early this month has gone through the roof again. The vegetable which comes from Nasik, Maharashtra, is priced at Rs. 55 per kg in the wholesale market and Rs. 60 per kg in most retail stores.
Traders say the Koyambedu wholesale market receives produce from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The produce from Maharashtra accounts for 50-60 per cent of the usual 80 lorry loads received daily. At present, the market gets only 45-50 lorries a day, leading to a severe shortage. Traders cite higher exports of onions as a reason for the shortage in the domestic market.
Malamaheswari Saravanan, a homemaker living on M.C. Road in Royapuram said she could purchase onions for Rs. 40 a kg at the nearby market. “But the quality of the onions sold at Rs. 50 a kg, which I buy, seems better,” she said.
Other vegetables, including carrots, green chillies and broad beans, too have become costly due to poor yields. In the wholesale market, carrots are priced at Rs. 35 per kg, green chillies Rs. 25 per kg and broad beans Rs. 40 per kg. Ginger is sold for Rs. 100 a kg in the wholesale market.
The vegetables sold in local markets, including those in Saidapet, Royapuram, Royapettah, are slightly cheaper than those in branded retail outlets.
V.R. Soundararajan, a wholesale trader said the prices of most vegetables had increased by Rs. 2 due to a 20 per cent hike in the freight charges. Lorry operators now charge Rs. 15-16 per km, citing the diesel price hike.
The Tamil month of purattasi, which commenced on Tuesday, too is pushing prices up. “Many people don’t consume non-vegetarian items during this month and so the demand for vegetables is more. Our family does not eat even eggs and so we spend more on vegetables despite the steep prices. However, the price of chicken has come down by Rs. 20 from last week’s Rs. 180 per kg,” said Pushkala Sounder, a homemaker from Purasawalkam.
Meanwhile, customers like S. Veena of Korattur are purchasing onions in small quantities “I cook dishes that need less or no onions. I buy smaller quantities of costly vegetables,” she said.