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Updated February 21st, 2011, 10:34 AM IST

Price of small onions doubles in a single day

Posted on February 21st, 2011 at 12:33 PM.

With announcement of a decision to allow export of onions by an inter-ministerial panel on food, prices of small onions in the wholesale market in Dindigul, one of the major markets in the State, almost doubled within 24 hours.

The prices of top quality onion shot up to Rs.45 a kg. on Friday which was Rs.25 a kg. It would go up further on Monday, the next auction day of the market, said onion traders in the market.

The Central government decided to allow exports of big (Bellary) onions only. But exporters have started buying all available stocks of even small onions in the market since Thursday.

With poor arrival of small onions to the market, they have been thronging farms in nearby villages in the district, traders told The Hindu on Sunday.

In Tiruchi too

A similar trend prevailed in other parts of the State, wholesale dealers said. Small onions were being procured on a large scale in Tiruchi market, the next major market for this vegetable. Exporters did not even allow farmers in Thuraiyur, one of the major small onion producing centres, to come to Tiruchi market. Onions were procured from farmers directly from the fields itself.

Traders expressed a grave concern about massive procurement of onions by exporters. If this trend continued, acute shortage of onions would haunt the domestic market. Retail price of onions would hover between Rs.60 and Rs.70 kg on the basis of quality.

Arrival of new stock from Dindigul, Erode and Coimbatore districts also did not reach the market till date. Arrival from Mysore was also very less, they added.

Besides new players, regular buyers who send the onions to Sri Lanka, Singapore and other South East Asian countries from Dindigul also would increase quantum of purchase in the months to come.

The wholesale onion sellers, mostly commission agents and direct buyers of onion from farmers, have appealed to the government to regulate small onion exports and allow it only after meeting domestic requirements.

If the Centre failed to regulate exports, prices of small onions go beyond reach of the common man, they cautioned.

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