Tears of joy, dismay as onion rules the market

The wholesale market in Tiruchi received about 25 tonnes of onion imported from Egypt on Monday, easing the supply situation.

The wholesale market in Tiruchi received about 25 tonnes of onion imported from Egypt on Monday, easing the supply situation.   | Photo Credit: M. Srinath


Price of the vegetable declines with increase in supply including an imported Eygptian variety

The price of onion — big and small variety — began descending at the wholesale market in Tiruchi on Monday as arrivals improved.

Also, the market received about 25 tonnes of onion imported from Egypt, easing the supply situation.

On Monday, both onion varieties were being sold at ₹100 a kg. The price of small onion, which peaked at ₹150 a kg this past fortnight, started dropping with fresh arrivals from Perambalur, Tiruchi and Namakkal districts.

Normally, about 300 tonnes each of small onion and Bellary variety arrived at the wholesale market every day and cater to retail markets in Tiruchi and neighbouring districts.

Traders at the market say that besides the Egyptian onion, procured from Mumbai by a couple of traders, arrival of Bellary onion from Maharashtra has also improved.

The market also received about 100 tonnes of freshly harvested crop of small onion, popularly known as sambar onion, which is largely consumed only in Tamil Nadu. The market was getting just about 30-40 tonnes a day over the past few weeks.

While Bellary onion come mostly from Karnataka and Maharashtra, the small onion requirement is met by arrivals from Perambalur and Tiruchi districts, two major shallot-growing districts in the State. The crop is raised on over 8,000 hectares in Perambalur district and about 4,000 hectares in Tiruchi district. Over the past month, arrivals plunged as traders and farmers complained that rain and disease (in small onions) had hit production badly.

“The price of Bellary variety dropped by ₹20 a kg and small onion by ₹40 a kg on Monday at the wholesale market. The price of both varieties will come down gradually and stabilise at around ₹50 a kg by next month,” predicted A. Thangaraj, general secretary, Tiruchi Onion Commission Mandi Traders’ Association.

A wholesale trader, P. Selvaraj, who procured the imported onion from Mumbai, however, complained that he incurred a loss as the price of the vegetable was on the downward trend in Maharashtra .

“I procured the Egyptian onion at ₹100 a kg and should be selling it for at least ₹110 a kg, after allowing for transport and other expenses. But as the price dropped by the time the consignment reached here, I incurred a loss,” he told The Hindu.

Mr. Selvaraj said reports indicated that arrivals had improved in Maharashtra markets and this would further bring the price down. Besides, a consignment of imported onion is set to arrive in Thoothukudi in a day or two.

The imported onion was dark red in colour and much bigger in size than the normal Indian varieties.

Holding out an assurance that the quality of the onion was good, Mr. Selvaraj observed that hoteliers would prefer the variety. However, some retail traders were wary of purchasing the onion in bulk fearing losses in the event of a further drop in price over the next few days.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 11:28:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/the-price-of-onion-began-descending-at-the-wholesale-market-in-tiruchi-on-monday-as-arrivals-improved/article30262465.ece

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