More ‘onion’ tears till Diwali as prices skyrocket at Lasalgaon mandi

Onion prices continued to soar at Asia’s largest onion market, Lasalgaon in Maharashtra, on Monday. A quintal of onion was priced at Rs 6,802 per quintal — a sharp increase of around Rs 2,000 — and rates are expected soar even more till around Diwali. Heavy rains in Maharashtra and neighbouring Karnataka led to onion crops being destroyed and a shortage of supply in Lasalgaon.

Onion traders were not coming to Mandi following the Income Tax raids on traders on October 14. Income tax officials raided 10 onion traders in Lasalgaon for suspected tax evasion, resulting in an immediate halt in trading activities. The market remained shut on Thursday too as officials continued to be on the premises doing paperwork.

Trading was not conducted on Friday as it was ‘Amavasya’, which is considered inauspicious. The Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) works half-days on Saturdays, whereas Sunday was the weekly day off. Hence, the auction couldn’t be held on either day.

Here’s the Monday’s rate list of onions from Lasalgaon:

Kamal: Rs 6,802/quintalSarasari: Rs 6,200/quintal Low quality onion: Rs 1,500/quintal

In September, the government had decided to ban the export of all onion varieties, which compelled Lasalgaon, Nashik, and Maharashtra farmers to come out on the streets to protest against the Centre’s decision.