Here’s ringing in some good news for homemakers, culinary experts and gourmands alike.
The tear-jerker of a crop — the pricey onion — will soon be humbled, thanks to fresh and steady supply to Ranchi’s wholesale market.
Until Saturday, the bulbous vegetable and key kitchen ingredient that has made governments fall sold at Rs 40 per kg at Pandra Bazaar, while the price in retail markets swung between Rs 50 and Rs 55. On Sunday, shoppers received an iota of relief with the wholesale rate dropping by Rs 2 to Rs 4. And, the plunge will continue — even if slowly — till next month, say vendors.
“Onion prices will come down to Rs 18-20 per kg in the wholesale market within a couple of days. The retail rates will automatically tumble,” said Niraj Kumar, a wholesaler and member of Pandra Bazaar Samiti.
On an average, around 1,000 trucks of onions are brought to the capital every month from places like Malegaon, Nandgaon, Satara and Kalvan in Nashik district of Maharashtra. This flow, which had remained stagnated for myriad reasons, has resumed since Saturday.
Wholesalers at Pandra say that by September, the price may plummet to as low as Rs 15-18 in retail markets. The wholesalers will prefer to stock the rabi crop by releasing their kharif and late kharif stocks to drag down prices.
The spurt in onion prices has, meanwhile, affected stockists drastically.
“Soaring rates dealt a heavy blow to our daily sales as a result of which we have stagnant stock. This will now have to be sold at throwaway prices to accommodate fresh arrivals,” pointed out Niraj.
He, however, maintained that the price of onion in the wholesale market of Ranchi never went beyond Rs 42 during the past few weeks when the rate in places like Delhi and Mumbai skyrocketed to Rs 60 and above.
“Even after a profit of Rs 5 to 8 per kg, onions could have easily been sold between Rs 48 and Rs 50,” piped in Dipak Kumar, another wholesaler.
In Nashik, onions are grown thrice a year. The kharif crop is cultivated during monsoon (June-July) and harvested in October-November. These onions are not recommended for stocking as they start rotting within a month. The late kharif crop, which is harvested in January-February, is also not good for stocking because it hosts fungus within a month.
“Only the rabi (summer) crop, harvested during April-May, can be stocked for a longer period. The rabi onions have a shelf life of around seven to eight months,” Niraj said, adding that this stock was making its way to Pandra now to cushion the crisis.
So, the gastronomes planning to stock more onions anticipating further price rise can actually wait for a rate plunge by the weekend. And, those who have already hoarded the delectable vegetable may use it lavishly.
How did the pricey onion affect your daily platter?