Wholesale onion prices crash 50 percent in north Karnataka

December 22nd, 2010 - 11:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Dec 22 (IANS) Onion prices in the wholesale market in north Karnataka’s Hubli crashed 50 percent Wednesday with growers and agents bringing more stocks for auctioning, an official said.”Wholesale prices of onions of different grades declined by about 50 percent at the Agricultural Producers Marketing Committee (APMC) yard here as more stocks arrived for auctioning,” Dharwad Deputy Commissioner Darpan Jain told IANS on phone.

Agitated over the sudden crash in the auction prices, farmers and agents protested and resorted to sit-in demonstration on the Hubli-Dharwad state highway, about 430 km from here, blocking vehicular traffic for over a hour earlier in the day.

“Prices of top grade variety onions were auctioned at Rs.3,500-4,000 per tonne as against Rs.5,500-6,000 per tonne Tuesday. Similarly, onions of lower grades, including raw ones were auctioned at Rs.500-3000 per tonne as against Rs.1,000-5,000 per tonne,” Jain said.

Ban on export and zero duty on import have forced hundreds of growers and intermediaries to rush to the APMC yard with the stocks that were piling up in their storage or godowns.

“Stern warning to agents and intermediaries that anyone hoarding or stocking onions in anticipation of higher prices will be raided and dealt firmly had an effect on more stocks coming to the market for auctions,” Jain asserted.

As one of the main onion-growing areas and markets in the state, APMC yards at Hubli-Dharwad and in the neighbouring district of Gadag, trade in about 1,500-2000 tonnes on an average daily as the bulbs are picked up by wholesale agents and retailers from the region.

“Though the administration does not interfere in the auctioning process, which is between growers and buyers through authorised agents, we maintain vigilance and step in to ensure transparency in the event of unfair trade practice,” Jain added.

With more stocks expected to reach the yard for auctioning in the coming days, Jain hoped the wholesale and retail prices of onions would decline gradually and stabilise in a fortnight.

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