Onion charges across the region, significantly in key agricultural marketplaces close to the rising locations, have crashed in between 30 for every cent and 40 for every cent around the very last 10 times as the late kharif crop has started to flood the marketplaces.
Officials, traders and exporters dread further more slide in the bulb’s charges as the rabi crop is all set to strike the marketplaces at any time immediately after March fifteen.
“Onion charges had topped ₹ four,000 a quintal in Nashik in the 3rd week of February, but they have now dropped to degrees of ₹2,five hundred as late Kharif crop arrivals have greater considering the fact that the very last four-five times,” mentioned Suvarna Jagtap, Lasalgaon Agricultural Generate Marketing and advertising Committee (APMC) Chairperson. Lasalgaon is a person of the greatest 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 price or the price at which most trades took location on Tuesday was ₹2,660 a quintal for the Pink variety compared with ₹4,000 on February twenty.
Unseasonal rains effect
Immediately after dropping from the highs observed in the course of September-October very last 12 months, onion charges surged very last thirty day period immediately after unseasonal rains lashed the rising parts of Maharashtra, boosting fears around the crop potential customers.
Rates in other rising States such as Gujarat and Maharashtra also greater in tandem considering the fact that the latter is the top rated producer in the region. Maharashtra accounted for approximately 41 for every cent of onion produced in the course of 2019-twenty.
Modal charges in other States such as Madhya Pradesh, the 2nd-largest grower, and Gujarat, the fifth-largest producer, dropped in line with the Maharashtra development. In Madhya Pradesh, the modal price dropped to ₹ 2,000 a quintal from ₹ three,000 on February 25.
In Gujarat, the modal charges dropped to ₹ 2,four hundred on Tuesday from ₹ three,000 in the course of February 22-25 at Kapadvanj APMC in Kheda district.
Rates in the course of the exact time very last 12 months ruled beneath ₹ one,five hundred a quintal at Lasalgaon.
“The late Kharif onion has started arriving immediately after some delay,” mentioned PK Gupta, Performing Director at Nashik-based mostly Countrywide Horticultural Analysis and Progress Foundation (NHRDF).
Arrivals in Maharashtra greater in the course of February 25-March 2 by 27 for every cent to 88,643 tonnes compared with 69,625 tonnes in the course of February eighteen-23. At the exact time, arrivals in Gujarat dropped to 58,347.fifty five tonnes from seventy six,824 tonnes in the course of the exact period of time, whilst in Madhya Pradesh it was a tad larger at six,819.25 tonnes versus six,761.07 tonnes.
Through February 25-March 2 very last 12 months, arrivals in Maharashtra were being considerably larger at one.73 lakh tonnes, Ministry of Agriculture details showed.
“Prices have crashed as arrivals are flooding the market not only in Maharashtra but also in other rising States such as Gujarat,” mentioned Jagtap.
No increase to exports
On the other hand, the fall in charges are not aiding in boosting exports. “We are bit by bit receiving orders but they are not at earlier degrees,” mentioned Chennai-based mostly Rajathi Group Director Madan Prakash.
“Pakistan is extremely aggressive in the export market featuring onion at $four hundred a tonne. Currently, our price is $550 a tonne compared with $700 a number of months ago,” mentioned Prakash, whose company exports onion to South-East Asia.
The issue with onion exports is that India has not been able to get well immediately after the ban imposed on shipments in September very last 12 months to control the sharp rise in charges. In addition to banning exports, the Centre also allowed obligation-totally free imports of onion as retail charges topped ₹ one hundred a kg then.
The steps helped management the rise in charges by October-stop and the ban on exports was lifted from the New Yr.
On the other hand, to start with, importing nations had shares of onion from other sources such as Egypt, Turkey and Holland and then, the Indian create could not match the charges at which Pakistan and China supplied to world consumers.
Curiously, prior to the Centre can ban onion exports, its shipments in the course of April one till September-stop at thirteen.07 lakh tonnes had exceeded very last fiscal overall 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 progress estimate of horticultural crops, pegging onion generation larger in the course of the 2019-twenty period (July-June) at 26.48 million tonnes towards 22.eighty two million tonnes the earlier 12 months.
“We are receiving packaged cargo at Mumbai for exports at around Rs 30,000 a tonne,” mentioned Prakash.
This translated to $411 a tonne but shippers are acquiring to spend a high quality to transport corporations for fast shipments or spend on storage until eventually true shipments acquire location.
“Arrivals have greater, and charges could be below stress likely ahead,” Prakash mentioned.
Very little reduction observed
“We never see growers receiving reduction from low charges as the Rabi crop will commence arriving in two weeks’ time,” mentioned Jagtap.
“Prices could fall to as low as ₹ one,five hundred around the next number of months as arrivals are rising,” mentioned Sohanlal Bhandari, Nashik District Onion Traders Chairman.
Concurring with the traders’ sights, NHRDF’s Gupta mentioned the Rabi onion was expected to arrive as early as March fifteen. “The arrivals may possibly be larger as this 12 months the region below cultivation greater. But the yield for every hectare may possibly be low,” he mentioned.
High-quality seeds issue
Growers did not sow excellent onion seeds, which could impact productiveness, the NHRDF official mentioned.
Availability of excellent seeds has been an issue considering the fact that growers have been offering their create when charges are higher than preserving a section of it for resowing.
“The sharp fall in charges is now forcing farmers to hold back again. This has resulted in arrivals slowing,” mentioned Nashik-based mostly trader Jayachandra Muthalya.
According to Ministry of Agriculture details, provisional arrivals in Maharashtra on March 2 were being twelve,097 tonnes compared with eighteen,052 tonnes on March one. For a main section of very last week, arrivals were being above fifteen,000 tonnes in the Condition.
“Prices have dropped further more by ₹ one hundred currently,” mentioned Rajathi Group’s Prakash, pointing to the stress on the market.
Jagtap mentioned farmers are unable to be holding the late Kharif onion for lengthy considering the fact that they did not have a longer shelf existence like Rabi onion. “They will have to make sure that the create is offered off quickly,” she mentioned.
At a person level of time very last week, charges dropped beneath ₹2,five hundred a quintal prior to climbing back again this week.