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Onions from Egypt to arrive in Mumbai in December

Onion wars: Supply shortages have put pressure on prices, with retail rates breaching the ₹100 per kg mark in Delhi.

Onion wars: Supply shortages have put pressure on prices, with retail rates breaching the ₹100 per kg mark in Delhi.  

Centre pegs price at ₹52-60/kg, expects States to provide additional subsidy.

The first tranche of 6,090 metric tonnes of onions imported by the Centre have been bought from Egypt and will reach the Mumbai port in the first week of December. This consignment is being offered to State governments at ₹52-55 per kg in Mumbai and ₹60 per kg in Delhi, according to an official statement from the Ministry of Food and Consumer Affairs on Monday.

Domestic prices

Last week, the Union Cabinet gave its approval to the import of 1.2 lakh tonnes by the Central trade agency MMTC, to tame the soaring domestic prices. The late arrival of the monsoon as well as excess rainfall and flooding during the harvesting season in the major producing States such as Karnataka, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh are likely to result in a 26% drop in the production during this season.

The supply shortages have put pressure on prices, with retail rates breaching the ₹100 per kg mark in Delhi earlier this month. While the price has now dipped to ₹75 per kg, it is as high as ₹120 per kg in Mumbai and other metros, the National Horticulture Board data shows.

Delhi has not yet put in an order, but the Central agency NAFED plans to retail them through its own outlets, along with the outlets of Mother Dairy, Kendriya Bhandar and NCCF.

Total demand

So far, the States which have communicated their wish to distribute the onions include Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Kerala and Sikkim. Along with the NAFED demand for Delhi, the total demand so far is 2,265 metric tonnes, said the statement. Other States have also been asked to indicate their demand.

The price that the Centre is offering to sell them to the States is higher than the wholesale domestic price of onions. In Nasik, for instance, the modal wholesale rate is ₹50 per kg. The Centre expects that States will provide an additional subsidy before retailing them to consumers, Ministry officials said.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 4:19:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/onions-from-egypt-to-arrive-in-mumbai-in-december/article30078861.ece

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