Editorial: Tear & fear

Onion, known for giving tears to those who cut it, is now doing the same to those who even think of buying it. The wholesale price of onions of the summer variety rose to Rs 11,000 per quintal on Monday during auction at the Kalwan Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) in Maharashtra. In Chennai and other parts of Tamilnadu too, the price of the vegetable, which is an essential in kitchens here, is on a high for the past some days. Monday was the first trading day of December and the wholesale price of the summer crop of onions was the highest this season in Nashik district, a major producer of the vegetable.

The previous highest wholesale auction price of onions was Rs 9,000 per quintal recorded at the Kalwan APMC last month. During the morning session, summer onions were auctioned at minimum Rs 4,000 per quintal and maximum Rs 11,000 a quintal. The average price was Rs 10,000-10,300 per quintal at the Kalwan APMC. In August, onion prices ranged between Rs 1,000-3,000 per quintal and the average price was Rs 2,400 per quintal. The prices increased in September when they ranged between Rs 3,000-4,000 per quintal and the average price was Rs 3,200 per quintal. In October, the maximum price increased to Rs 4,500 per quintal and the average price was Rs 3,800.

In November, the maximum price reached the Rs 9,000 a quintal mark, whereas the average price was Rs 4,900. Meanwhile, at the Lasalgaon APMC, there was no auction of summer onions on Monday. Instead, red onions brought in around 250 vehicles were auctioned at the Lasalgaon APMC, the country’s largest wholesale onion market, the sources said. The prices ranged between minimum Rs 3,000 per quintal to maximum Rs 8,401 per quintal and the average rate was Rs 7,100 a quintal. The Rs 8,401 per quintal is the highest auction rate for red onions recorded at the Lasalgaon APMC this season. The previous highest price, Rs 6,565 a quintal, was recorded on last Saturday. The prices of red onions at the APMC ranged between Rs 1,8006,565 per quintal and the average rate was Rs 5,001. The government, which is already taking steps to bring the price of onion down, should take strict action against those hoarding it.


NT Bureau