Onion selling prices across the nation, specially in principal agricultural marketplaces close to the rising locations, have crashed amongst thirty per cent and forty per cent over the very last ten days as the late kharif crop has started to flood the marketplaces.
Officers, traders and exporters worry even further slide in the bulb’s selling prices as the rabi crop is all set to hit the marketplaces anytime after March fifteen.
“Onion selling prices experienced topped ₹ four,000 a quintal in Nashik in the 3rd 7 days of February, but they have now dropped to degrees of ₹2,500 as late Kharif crop arrivals have enhanced due to the fact the very last four-five days,” mentioned Suvarna Jagtap, Lasalgaon Agricultural Produce Advertising and marketing Committee (APMC) Chairperson. Lasalgaon is a person of the most significant marketplaces for onion in Maharashtra’s Nashik district, the hub of the commodity’s trade.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, the modal selling price or the amount at which most trades took position on Tuesday was ₹2,660 a quintal for the Purple wide range when compared with ₹4,000 on February twenty.
Unseasonal rains outcome
Just after dropping from the highs noticed all through September-Oct very last year, onion selling prices surged very last month after unseasonal rains lashed the rising parts of Maharashtra, increasing fears over the crop prospects.
Charges in other rising States this kind of as Gujarat and Maharashtra also enhanced in tandem due to the fact the latter is the top producer in the nation. Maharashtra accounted for virtually 41 per cent of onion developed all through 2019-twenty.
Modal selling prices in other States this kind of as Madhya Pradesh, the next-biggest grower, and Gujarat, the fifth-biggest producer, dropped in line with the Maharashtra craze. In Madhya Pradesh, the modal selling price dropped to ₹ 2,000 a quintal from ₹ three,000 on February 25.
In Gujarat, the modal selling prices dropped to ₹ 2,four hundred on Tuesday from ₹ three,000 all through February 22-25 at Kapadvanj APMC in Kheda district.
Charges all through the same time very last year dominated below ₹ one,500 a quintal at Lasalgaon.
“The late Kharif onion has started arriving after some hold off,” mentioned PK Gupta, Acting Director at Nashik-primarily based Nationwide Horticultural Investigation and Growth Foundation (NHRDF).
Arrivals in Maharashtra enhanced all through February 25-March 2 by 27 per cent to 88,643 tonnes when compared with 69,625 tonnes all through February eighteen-23. At the same time, arrivals in Gujarat dropped to 58,347.fifty five tonnes from seventy six,824 tonnes all through the same time period, though in Madhya Pradesh it was a tad bigger at six,819.25 tonnes compared to six,761.07 tonnes.
Throughout February 25-March 2 very last year, arrivals in Maharashtra were significantly bigger at one.73 lakh tonnes, Ministry of Agriculture information showed.
“Prices have crashed as arrivals are flooding the sector not only in Maharashtra but also in other rising States this kind of as Gujarat,” mentioned Jagtap.
No improve to exports
On the other hand, the drop in selling prices are not assisting in boosting exports. “We are bit by bit obtaining orders but they are not at past degrees,” mentioned Chennai-primarily based Rajathi Team Director Madan Prakash.
“Pakistan is extremely competitive in the export sector providing onion at $four hundred a tonne. Right now, our selling price is $550 a tonne when compared with $seven hundred a number of months back,” mentioned Prakash, whose corporation exports onion to South-East Asia.
The challenge with onion exports is that India has not been able to recuperate after the ban imposed on shipments in September very last year to curb the sharp increase in selling prices. Other than banning exports, the Centre also permitted obligation-free imports of onion as retail selling prices topped ₹ a hundred a kg then.
The actions assisted manage the increase in selling prices by Oct-end and the ban on exports was lifted from the New 12 months.
On the other hand, very first, importing nations experienced stocks of onion from other resources this kind of as Egypt, Turkey and Holland and then, the Indian create could not match the selling prices at which Pakistan and China provided to worldwide buyers.
Curiously, prior to the Centre can ban onion exports, its shipments all through April one till September-end at 13.07 lakh tonnes experienced exceeded very last fiscal full exports of 11.forty nine lakh tonnes.
Bigger output in 2019-twenty
The exports transpired on the heels of the Ministry of Agriculture, in its 3rd advance estimate of horticultural crops, pegging onion manufacturing bigger all through the 2019-twenty time (July-June) at 26.forty eight million tonnes versus 22.eighty two million tonnes the past year.
“We are obtaining packaged cargo at Mumbai for exports at about Rs thirty,000 a tonne,” mentioned Prakash.
This translated to $411 a tonne but shippers are possessing to pay out a premium to shipping and delivery firms for speedy shipments or commit on storage right until true shipments consider position.
“Arrivals have enhanced, and selling prices could be beneath strain heading ahead,” Prakash mentioned.
Little relief noticed
“We don’t see growers obtaining relief from reduced selling prices as the Rabi crop will commence arriving in two weeks’ time,” mentioned Jagtap.
“Prices could drop to as reduced as ₹ one,500 over the following number of months as arrivals are escalating,” mentioned Sohanlal Bhandari, Nashik District Onion Traders Chairman.
Concurring with the traders’ sights, NHRDF’s Gupta mentioned the Rabi onion was anticipated to arrive as early as March fifteen. “The arrivals could possibly be bigger as this year the space beneath cultivation enhanced. But the yield per hectare could possibly be reduced,” he mentioned.
High-quality seeds difficulty
Growers did not sow high quality onion seeds, which could have an affect on productiveness, the NHRDF official mentioned.
Availability of high quality seeds has been an difficulty due to the fact growers have been promoting their create when selling prices are substantial than conserving a component of it for resowing.
“The sharp drop in selling prices is now forcing farmers to hold back again. This has resulted in arrivals slowing,” mentioned Nashik-primarily based trader Jayachandra Muthalya.
According to Ministry of Agriculture information, provisional arrivals in Maharashtra on March 2 were 12,097 tonnes when compared with eighteen,052 tonnes on March one. For a important component of very last 7 days, arrivals were earlier mentioned fifteen,000 tonnes in the Point out.
“Prices have dropped even further by ₹ a hundred these days,” mentioned Rajathi Group’s Prakash, pointing to the strain on the sector.
Jagtap mentioned farmers cannot be keeping the late Kharif onion for long due to the fact they did not have a lengthier shelf lifestyle like Rabi onion. “They will have to be certain that the create is sold off swiftly,” she mentioned.
At a person level of time very last 7 days, selling prices dropped below ₹2,500 a quintal prior to climbing back again this 7 days.