Prices of both the big and small varieties of onions, which started rising by mid-September, continue to head north at the wholesale market in Tiruchi.
The price of top quality shallots touched ₹100 a kg on Monday, while the Bellary variety was being sold at ₹80 a kg. Retail prices are normally ₹5 -10 a kg more than the wholesale rates.
Wholesale traders report that the prices of both the varieties have gone up by ₹25-30 a kg over the past week. With the festival season ahead, the prices are expected to go up further by another ₹20 a kg.
Traders say that arrivals of shallots have dwindled drastically over the past few days and old stocks from a few parts of the State are coming in. “We are hardly getting about 60 tonnes of shallots a day against the daily demand of about 250 tonnes,” said A. Thangaraj, general secretary, Tiruchi Onion Commission Mandi Traders’ Association, said.
Arrivals from Perambalur and Thuraiyur belt in Tiruchi district, a major onion growing belt in the State, have come down to a trickle. Farmers in Perambalur and Thuraiyur had complained of a strange disease attack in the crop affecting the yield last season.
“We are getting about 25-30 tonnes from Perambalur and Thuraiyur and another 30 tonnes from Udumalpet and Pollachi region as some farmers and traders are clearing their old stocks,” Mr.Thangaraj said.
Arrival of Bellary variety onions have been on the decline since September due to rains in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Prior to that, the price of the variety had ruled steady at about ₹20 a kg for about three months at the Tiruchi market.
“We are getting about 200 tonnes of Bellary onions, about 100 tonnes each from Karnataka and Maharashtra, against the normal demand of about 300 tonnes. While the arrivals from Karnataka is fresh crop, those from Maharashtra largely constitute old stocks. The damage caused by the rain in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka continue to impact arrivals to Tamil Nadu,” said Mr.Thangaraj.
Traders here expect the price of the onion varieties to stabilise only after the festival season. Fresh arrivals of small onions, also known as sambar onions, from Perambalur and Thuraiyur are expected only in January.