Global Economy

Onion prices fall by Rs 150 per quintal at Lasalgaon mandi

Mumbai: Onion prices on Tuesday fell by Rs 150 per quintal at Lasalgaon mandi in Nashik district of Maharashtra after the government announcement that the ban on exports of the bulb will continue till March 31. Driven by reports of the lifting of the export ban on the commodity, the modal wholesale onion prices shot up 40.62 per cent to Rs 1,800 per quintal on February 19 in Lasalgaon, the country’s largest wholesale onion market, from Rs 1,280 per quintal on February 17.

However, on Tuesday the prices eased by Rs 150 per quintal to an average price of Rs 1,650 per quintal with 8,500 quintal onions auctioned.

“The prices increased a bit last week, however, with no government resolution (GR) or announcement about the lifting of the ban on onion exports, these have stabilised,” Lasalgaon APMC chairman Balasaheb Kshirsagar told PTI.

Earlier in the day, Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh told PTI that the “ban on onion exports has not been lifted. It is in force and there is no change in the status.”

The government’s supreme priority is to ensure enough domestic availability of onion at reasonable prices to consumers, he added.

Ahead of general elections, the ban is unlikely to be lifted even after March 31 as rabi (winter) onion production is expected to be lower due to less coverage of area, especially in Maharashtra, sources said. In the 2023 rabi season, onion production was estimated to be at 22.7 million tonnes. The Agriculture Ministry officials will assess the rabi onion coverage in key growing states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the export of onions to friendly countries is allowed on a case-to-case basis after approval from the inter-ministerial group.

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