Onion retail at Rs 65/kg, wholesale prices fall

New Delhi: Retail prices of onion continue to rule high at Rs 60-65 in metros even though wholesale rates have declined following nationwide tax raids on traders.

The wholesale price of onion in Delhi`s Azadpur mandi fell by Rs 3 to Rs 40/kg today, according to the National Horticultural and Research Development Foundation data.

In Mumbai and Kolkata, wholesale prices softened by up to Rs 5 to Rs 45/kg and 50/kg, respectively. In Chennai, prices remained unchanged at Rs 50/kg, it said.

Traders attributed the fall in wholesale rates to the increase in supply from Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan and also to the Income-Tax raids carried out across the country.

However, retail prices continue to remain high in metros.

Local vendors and agri-economists said that it would take 2-3 days for prices to soften in the retail market.

The I-T authorities today raided premises of onion traders in Delhi and other parts of the national capital to check hoarding and illegal profiteering.

Retail prices of onion in Delhi and Mumbai remained unchanged but ruled high at Rs 60/kg, respectively, from yesterday`s level, according to reports from these centres.

In Chennai retail markets, onion prices increased to Rs 65/kg today from Rs 60/kg, while prices in Kolkata also rose by Rs 10 to Rs 60/kg in the reviewed period.

In posh colonies of metros, retail prices were still ruling over Rs 70/kg.

"Retailers are selling onion at higher rates even though the wholesale prices have started cooling off in last two days owing to increased supply from the key growing states," Tomato and Onion Merchants` Association in Delhi`s Azadpur mandi, General Secretary Rajendra Sharma said.

Wholesale prices have also declined because of the raids conducted by the I-T authorities in several parts of the country, he added.

Agri-economists said that the impact of fall in wholesale prices on unorganised retail markets would take some time because local vendors do not buy onions on a daily basis and hence does not reflect on retail rates immediately.

Nasrul, a local vendor in South Delhi said, "I am still selling onions that was purchased two days back. Prices have fallen a bit in the wholesale market since yesterday but I cannot reduce the retail price because I lose my profit."

Total production of onion is expected to decline by 12.5 per cent to 10.5 million tonnes this year, against 12 million tonnes in 2009-10.

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