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Onion price surges to Rs120/kg

Onion price surges to Rs120/kg

KARACHI: Karachi-based retailers increased on Wednesday the price of onion to Rs100-120 per kilogram from Rs80 a day ago.

Its retail price started rising from Rs30 per kg about 10 days before Eidul Azha.

Authorities concerned have so far been tight-lipped about the steep rise in the price of onion, which is a main ingredient of everyday food.

Traders attributed the jump in the wholesale price to a slowdown in the arrival of onion from Balochistan as well as massive demand during Eid days.

The vice chairman for Market Committee, Asif Ahmed, said the average price in Karachi Mandi was Rs110 per kg on both Tuesday and Wednesday. He said 18 trucks arrived from Balochistan on Wednesday as opposed to eight trucks on Tuesday.

He said the wholesale price in Lahore rose to Rs90-95 per kg from Rs70-75 per kg a few days back. Onion was finding its way through illegal channels into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from Afghanistan, he added.

He said the government has to allow onion imports as the Balochistan crop is coming to an end. The Sindh crop was affected because of rains. It was smaller this year partly because of the low prices it fetched in the preceding year.

According to foreign media reports, the retail price of onion in India hovers around Rs30-50 per kg, depending on the quality. This means it will cost Rs60-80 per kg in terms of the local currency.

The private-sector in India imported 2,400 tonnes from Egypt to control the price of onion while another 9,000 tonnes will hit the market shortly.

“We may have to find countries other than India from where we can import onion,” another trader said, adding that imports seem to be the only measure that can prevent a further jump in the commodity’s price.

Published in Dawn, September 7th, 2017

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