Retail prices of the humble onion in India surged to levels above Rs60 per kg amidst a general rise in vegetable prices across the country.
Onion supplies were particularly hit by last year's drought in key growing areas and this year's heavy rains, which damaged crop in some southern and northern states.
The average prices of onion at Lasalgaon, the country's largest wholesale onion market in Maharashtra, jumped nearly 37 per cent to Rs4,300 per quintal (100 kg), breaking the earlier record of Rs3,800 struck on 20 December 2010.
Retail prices have risen more sharply. In some metropolitan areas like Mumbai, the retail price was Rs65 per kg today, compared with Rs30 a few days ago.
Maharashtra, the country's top producer of onion, was hit by its worst drought in more than four decades in 2012, which limited the area under the crop and trimmed yields. Onion production in the state fell nearly 16 per cent to 4.76 million tonnes in 2012-13.
On the other hand, heavy rains hit this year's planted crop in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh hard, further affecting supplies.
Arrivals in key spot markets in the states in August have declined to about half the normal supplies compared with last year, data with the National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation showed.
Supplies are unlikely to improve until at least October unless the government opts for imports.
High prices of onion, the most essential of all essential commodities across India and a necessary ingredient in many an Indian dish, has been the bane of many a government in the past.