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Tuesday, Aug 30, 2005

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Onion prices rise as arrivals dwindle

Dhimant Bhatt

Mumbai , Aug 29

ONION prices have doubled over the last fortnight on reduced inflows and low stocks.

Wholesale prices at Nashik and Pune - major markets in Maharashtra - have moved up to Rs 1,100 a quintal on Monday on reduced inflows and steady demand from upcountry. Prices were around Rs 450-550 a quintal at Nashik market few days ago, sources said.

"Prices at the major mandies are moving up daily by Rs 50 a quintal in the last few days as inflows have been reduced sharply from 500 tonnes to 100 tonnes at the three major centres in Nashik district. Similar situation exists in Pune mandi also," a Nashik based onion trader told Business Line.

"Overall demand is good from upcountry centres such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Lucknow and Delhi," he said.

Reports say early crop sown in Maharashtra have been damaged and new arrivals may be delayed. Also, quality of stored onion (warehouse stock) at the major centres has been affected due to heavy rains.

Unconfirmed reports say hardly a month's stock of onion is left with trade and farmers. Arrivals of the new crop are expected in November only.

"Daily inflows into Vashi APMC market from Nashik and Pune mandies have been reduced considerably. Wholesale prices at Vashi also moved up from Rs 70-75 fpr 10 kg to Rs 125-135 of average quality," a local trader said.

"Local demand is limited due to Shravan month," he said. Traders are expecting prices to move up further as inflows may come down further.

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