Onion prices across the state, specifically in main agricultural markets close to the escalating regions, have crashed involving 30 for each cent and 40 for each cent over the last 10 days as the late kharif crop has started to flood the markets.
Officials, traders and exporters dread further more tumble in the bulb’s prices as the rabi crop is all set to hit the markets anytime right after March 15.
“Onion prices had topped ₹ four,000 a quintal in Nashik in the 3rd 7 days of February, but they have now dropped to ranges of ₹2,five hundred as late Kharif crop arrivals have improved considering the fact that the last four-five days,” explained Suvarna Jagtap, Lasalgaon Agricultural Deliver Promoting Committee (APMC) Chairperson. Lasalgaon is just one of the greatest markets for onion in Maharashtra’s Nashik district, the hub of the commodity’s trade.
In accordance to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, the modal rate or the fee at which most trades took place on Tuesday was ₹2,660 a quintal for the Pink selection when compared with ₹4,000 on February twenty.
Unseasonal rains result
After dropping from the highs observed throughout September-Oct last yr, onion prices surged last thirty day period right after unseasonal rains lashed the escalating parts of Maharashtra, raising fears over the crop prospective clients.
Selling prices in other escalating States this sort of as Gujarat and Maharashtra also improved in tandem considering the fact that the latter is the major producer in the state. Maharashtra accounted for practically 41 for each cent of onion created throughout 2019-twenty.
Modal prices in other States this sort of as Madhya Pradesh, the second-premier grower, and Gujarat, the fifth-premier producer, dropped in line with the Maharashtra trend. In Madhya Pradesh, the modal rate dropped to ₹ 2,000 a quintal from ₹ 3,000 on February twenty five.
In Gujarat, the modal prices dropped to ₹ 2,four hundred on Tuesday from ₹ 3,000 throughout February 22-twenty five at Kapadvanj APMC in Kheda district.
Selling prices throughout the exact time last yr dominated below ₹ 1,five hundred a quintal at Lasalgaon.
“The late Kharif onion has started arriving right after some hold off,” explained PK Gupta, Performing Director at Nashik-dependent National Horticultural Investigation and Development Foundation (NHRDF).
Arrivals in Maharashtra improved throughout February twenty five-March 2 by 27 for each cent to 88,643 tonnes when compared with sixty nine,625 tonnes throughout February eighteen-23. At the exact time, arrivals in Gujarat dropped to fifty eight,347.55 tonnes from 76,824 tonnes throughout the exact interval, when in Madhya Pradesh it was a tad better at 6,819.twenty five tonnes vs . 6,761.07 tonnes.
In the course of February twenty five-March 2 last yr, arrivals in Maharashtra ended up substantially better at 1.seventy three lakh tonnes, Ministry of Agriculture details showed.
“Prices have crashed as arrivals are flooding the current market not only in Maharashtra but also in other escalating States this sort of as Gujarat,” explained Jagtap.
No improve to exports
Nonetheless, the drop in prices are not supporting in boosting exports. “We are slowly obtaining orders but they are not at earlier ranges,” explained Chennai-dependent Rajathi Team Director Madan Prakash.
“Pakistan is extremely aggressive in the export current market presenting onion at $four hundred a tonne. Currently, our rate is $550 a tonne when compared with $seven hundred a couple weeks in the past,” explained Prakash, whose corporation exports onion to South-East Asia.
The challenge with onion exports is that India has not been able to get well right after the ban imposed on shipments in September last yr to suppress the sharp rise in prices. Aside from banning exports, the Centre also authorized obligation-cost-free imports of onion as retail prices topped ₹ one hundred a kg then.
The steps helped regulate the rise in prices by Oct-end and the ban on exports was lifted from the New 12 months.
Nonetheless, first, importing nations had shares of onion from other sources this sort of as Egypt, Turkey and Holland and then, the Indian generate could not match the prices at which Pakistan and China available to international prospective buyers.
Curiously, just before the Centre can ban onion exports, its shipments throughout April 1 until September-end at thirteen.07 lakh tonnes had exceeded last fiscal complete exports of 11.49 lakh tonnes.
Bigger output in 2019-twenty
The exports happened on the heels of the Ministry of Agriculture, in its 3rd advance estimate of horticultural crops, pegging onion manufacturing better throughout the 2019-twenty year (July-June) at 26.48 million tonnes in opposition to 22.eighty two million tonnes the earlier yr.
“We are obtaining packaged cargo at Mumbai for exports at all-around Rs 30,000 a tonne,” explained Prakash.
This translated to $411 a tonne but shippers are owning to pay back a quality to shipping companies for immediate shipments or expend on storage until eventually real shipments consider place.
“Arrivals have improved, and prices could be below strain going forward,” Prakash explained.
Little reduction observed
“We really do not see growers obtaining reduction from very low prices as the Rabi crop will begin arriving in two weeks’ time,” explained Jagtap.
“Prices could drop to as very low as ₹ 1,five hundred over the up coming couple weeks as arrivals are expanding,” explained Sohanlal Bhandari, Nashik District Onion Traders Chairman.
Concurring with the traders’ sights, NHRDF’s Gupta explained the Rabi onion was expected to get there as early as March 15. “The arrivals may possibly be better as this yr the spot below cultivation improved. But the yield for each hectare may possibly be very low,” he explained.
High-quality seeds situation
Growers did not sow quality onion seeds, which could have an effect on productiveness, the NHRDF formal explained.
Availability of quality seeds has been an situation considering the fact that growers have been providing their generate when prices are significant than saving a element of it for resowing.
“The sharp drop in prices is now forcing farmers to hold back again. This has resulted in arrivals slowing,” explained Nashik-dependent trader Jayachandra Muthalya.
In accordance to Ministry of Agriculture details, provisional arrivals in Maharashtra on March 2 ended up twelve,097 tonnes when compared with eighteen,052 tonnes on March 1. For a significant element of last 7 days, arrivals ended up earlier mentioned 15,000 tonnes in the Condition.
“Prices have dropped further more by ₹ one hundred currently,” explained Rajathi Group’s Prakash, pointing to the strain on the current market.
Jagtap explained farmers are not able to be keeping the late Kharif onion for very long considering the fact that they did not have a extended shelf life like Rabi onion. “They will have to make sure that the generate is marketed off quickly,” she explained.
At just one place of time last 7 days, prices dropped below ₹2,five hundred a quintal just before climbing back again this 7 days.