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Onion price falls in retail, wholesale markets

Staff Reporter

It follows announcement on ban on export

— Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

SOME RELIEF:The fall in price of onion brought relief to people in Bangalore on Wednesday.

BANGALORE: The retail price of onion in Bangalore declined on Wednesday even as the slide of price of onions in the wholesale market continued for the second day after the Union Government announced a ban on export of onions.

The price slide in the wholesale market has had its effect in the retail segment as the price of onion hovered between Rs. 55 and Rs. 72 a kg in leading vegetable chains on Wednesday against a price of Rs. 65 to Rs. 85 on Tuesday. However, some neighbourhood onion vendors quoted Rs. 45 a kg.

HOPCOMS brought down the price to Rs. 72 on Wednesday from Rs. 78 on Tuesday. The economy grade is being sold at Rs. 55. Sources indicated that the price could further come down in the next few days.

The Horticulture Department has issued a direction to HOPCOMS not to hold any profit margin to reduce the burden on consumers.

However, onion was sold in markets in Basavanagudi, N.R. Colony and Basaveshwara Nagar at Rs. 35 a kg.

“These could be lower grade onions,” an executive of a leading vegetable chain said and added that the price in vegetable chains could take a day or two to come down as they had made bulk purchases at a higher price earlier.

Meanwhile, Dappa, the best quality onion, traded between Rs. 1,500 and Rs. 1,700 for a bag (50 kg) on Wednesday, was down by about 24 per cent since Tuesday. Medium grade onion traded between Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 1,200. The price of Gulti and Golta, the other two grades, also came down. “Trading volume came down on Wednesday in anticipation of further fall,” G.S. Karisiddappa, an onion trader in Yeshwanthpur APMC, told The Hindu. Buyers have put off their purchase plans, while sellers have also refrained from the market, he said. HOPCOMS has also reported a drop in sale of onion. The daily sales of onion that ranged between seven to eight tonnes have now dropped to four to five tonnes, said sources. Other vegetable chains too reported a drop in sale by about 20 per cent. This drop could be due to customers' anticipation of further fall in price.

The high price has prevented several neighbourhood shopkeepers from stocking onion. “It is too risky to buy onion at a high price and sell it keeping our margins,” Y. Niranjana, who owns a shop in Hanumanthnagar, said. Further, the quality of onion was also poor, he added.

Anger

In Hubli, angry over the sudden crash in price, farmers, who had brought onion to the market expecting a good price, blocked the old national highway between Hubli and Dharwad for two hours.

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