Bringing small relief to consumers, retail prices of onion today softened slightly to Rs 60 per kg in the national capital on improved supplies.
Retail prices are expected to fall further in the coming days as arrivals are likely to be more with the recent initiatives taken by the government to curb exports and import of onions to boost local supplies, traders and experts said.
The wholesale price of onion has cooled down slightly but still rule high at Rs 35-40 per kg at Azadpur mandi since yesterday. Prices stood at Rs 50-55 per kg last week.
"There is no change in onion prices. It is sold at the yesterday's level of Rs 35-40 per kg as there is enough stock in the market and supplies are also more than normal," Onion Merchant Traders Association President Surendra Budhiraj said.
The demand for the kitchen staple has come down on account of high retail prices. The prices would drop further in the coming days on higher arrivals, he said.
Similarly, retail price has come down but still rule at an unaffordable level of Rs 60 per kg in most parts of Delhi since yesterday as against Rs 70-80 kg last week.
Consequently, Mother Dairy and Nafed have also brought down prices of onion at their outlets. Mother Dairy is selling onions today at Rs 60 per kg, while Nafed is selling onion at Rs 44 per kg through its six outlets and mobile vans.
The cooperative major Nafed is likely to float an import tender by the end of the week. Imports are expected to boost supplies and cool down prices.
Onion supplies to the city, which come from Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, were around 16,000 tonnes today against normal supply at 12,000 quintals, while around 30 per cent of Monday's stock is also unsold, Budhiraj said.
At Lasalgaon in Nashik district of Maharashtra, Asia's largest onion wholesale market, prices eased by Rs 5 per kg to Rs 30-35 per kg yesterday on increased supplies, an official data showed.
To control rising prices, the government had imposed a minimum export price (MEP) of USD 650 per tonne and had directed cooperative major NAFED to import onions.
Production stood at 16.6 million tonnes in 2012-13.