Madurai

Rains raise onion price in market

Moist and waste: Rotten onions dumped on the roadside in Dindigul.

Moist and waste: Rotten onions dumped on the roadside in Dindigul.  

Due to excessive moisture, it rots soon; traders are forced to dump the onion

Bellary onions are selling for ₹80 a kg and shallots (small onions) for ₹60 at the Dindigul market on Wednesday.

In the past one week, the price has spiralled up several times. The price rise is attributed to the monsoon. Before the rains, Bellary onions were sold at ₹20 a kg. “The main supply of onions to the southern districts of Tamil Nadu is from Maharashtra and Karnataka. But the rains have not stopped in these States. Maharashtra is still receiving rains. It is also the harvest season for onions and due to excessive moisture, the onions get rotten” says D. Rajendran, a trader at the market.

“If we procure five tonnes of onions, at least 100 kg tend to get rotten and we suffer losses. The transportation charge has also gone up. To minimise loss, we increase the price. We are left with no option but to dump away the rotten onions. In the last week, many traders had to throw away sacks full of rotten onions,” he says.

There are about 150 onion traders in Dindigul of which only 20 deal with Bellary onions because of the high risk factor during monsoons. The rest sell shallots which can be stored for a longer duration. Earlier, shallots, that are mainly used in the preparation of sambhar, were costlier than Bellary onions. Another advantage with shallots is that older the stock, higher the price. Whereas, in the case of Bellary onions, the shelf life is less and hence the stock has to be cleared then and there.

But the traders are hopeful that if sunny days continue for another two weeks, the prices may settle down to an average.

“In the past two years, the price of Bellary onions is abysmally low and now there’s a sudden increase. But now even the buying price has gone up and hence our profit margin is thin,” says a trader.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 3:12:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/onion-prices-skyrocket-due-to-rains/article29906211.ece

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