With the arrival of big onions from Pakistan and a ban on onion exports, the wholesale onion market in Dindigul, one of the biggest markets in the State, has witnessed a crash in the prices of big onions.

However, prices of small onions remain stable. The prices of big onion that were hovering between Rs.90 a kg (top quality) and Rs.70 a kg for medium quality last week, came down to Rs.40 and Rs.35 respectively on Thursday, more than half of the prices that prevailed on December 15 and 17. In the retail market, big onion was sold up to Rs.110 a kg last week.

Prices of small onions were oscillating between Rs.45 and Rs.40 a kg owing to destruction of standing onion crop in hundreds of acres.

Unexpected rain shattered big onion production in Karnataka and Maharashtra too, said Rajendran, onion wholesale commission agent. With sharp increase in exports to Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Singapore and other eastern countries, entire old stock of big onions were completely wiped out. Whole sale agents too cleared all old stock expecting new arrivals in the first week of December.

Yield was massively hit in the district. Farmers, who got 80 bags in one acre last year, could get only 25 bags this year.

Sudden up and down in onion prices did not make any change, we see only loss every year, said M. Kanagaraj, farmer in Karayampatti. Normally, the whole sale market receives onion in large scale from Nilakottai, Sengurichi, Gujiliamparai in Dindigul district and Thuraiyur and Namakkal in nearby districts, major onion production centres. Huge arrival of small and big onions in January alone will make onion affordable to public, said Marimuthu, another trader.

Keywords: onion price

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