The sudden spike in the price of onion, the most widely used commodity across the country, has nullified the benefit of a general fall in food prices and slowing inflation. The lowly onion is now selling at Rs80 a kg in the retail market and is threatening to cross the Rs100 a kg mark soon.
In the wholesale market in Lasalgaon in Maharashtra, Asia's biggest wholesale market for onions, prices have shot up to Rs57 per kg.
In Mumbai and even in the price-sensitive Delhi market as also some other parts of the country, retail onion prices have shot up to Rs80 per kg.
Official government data, however, shows retail onion price at Rs66 a kg in the national capital compared with Rs50 in Mumbai and Rs52 in Chennai as well as Kolkata.
Further spike in prices is expected both in wholesale and retail markets as the tight supply situation is expected to continue in the wake of likely fall in kharif production and delay in arrival of the fresh crop.
NAFED is reported to have floated tender to import 10,000 tonnes. But it may take months before imports materialise.
Currently, stored rabi onion stocks in the country has come down to 14 lakh tonnes from 28 lakh tonnes in July.
Total onion production is estimated to be at 189 lakh tonnes in 2014-15 crop year (July-June), slightly lower than 194 lakh tonnes, a year ago.