The old cliché of increased onion prices stinging customers to tears have come true in the city again, with a hike of Rs 10 a kilo over the weekend.
Since Saturday, retailers are selling the bulb at Rs 30 per kilo. Till June 28, the onion was sold between Rs 20-22 a kilo in city markets.
Functionaries at wholesale outfit Krishi Utpadan Bazar Samiti in Parsudih are pointing a finger at rain-hit Nashik in Maharashtra and neighbouring states where the bulb is rotting or showers have hit long-distance transport.
Krishi Utpadan Bazar Samiti officials feel the situation will prevail for a fortnight at least.
A wholesaler at Parsudih-based Krishi Utpadan Bazar Samiti, Jitendra Prasad said the reason behind the hike was supply curbs from Nashik.
“On an average, five to six trucks bring onions daily from Nashik. But, for the past two days it has been reduced to two trucks,” he explained.
Pramod Kumar, an onion retailer in Sakchi, said the situation had aggravated due to rains. “During rainy season, a lot of crop rots and needs to be discarded. Transport also becomes a problem. Nashik apart, we also used to get supplies from neighbouring states of Bihar and Bengal. We also depended on Madhya Pradesh and Hazaribagh. But, rains have taken a toll on local supply,” he said.
Another retailer at Sakchi, Mukesh Kumar agreed that from Saturday they had been procuring wholesale stocks at a premium.
“The wholesalers charge us between Rs 24 and Rs 26 a kilo depending on quality. Until Friday, we were procuring the same onion at Rs 16-18 a kilo. Therefore, we have no choice but to hike our prices. The price rise has impacted our business and sale of onions has dropped,” he said.
Onion budgets at homes and restaurants will stabilise only after two weeks.
“We are hopeful of getting the wholesale stock from neighbouring states by mid-July,” said an official of Krishi Utpadan Bazar Samiti.
But as modalities for interstate supply and transport of onions are worked out, retail traders fear prices might touch even Rs 40 a kilo.
Poor storage facilities being the bane of agri-related business in monsoon, almost all vegetables have seen a rise between Rs 5 and Rs 10 a kilo.