Lakhs of households are already suffering due to high tomato prices at Rs 50-60 per kg because supplies were affected due to heavy rains in tomato-growing states.
Wholesale rates of onion are currently five times higher than levels at the same time last year at Maharashtra's Lasalgoan, the Asia's biggest wholesale market. Onion price at Lasalgaon yesterday was Rs 24 compared to Rs 4.70 a year ago.
This could mean sky-high retail prices in the country. Retail prices of onion in Delhi touched Rs 40 per kg today. It was available at Rs 20 per kg a month ago.
In December-January 2011 retail prices of onion had touched Rs 100 per kg.
Shortage till September
According to traders, wholesale onion prices are expected to remain at this level till September, as supply has been affected due to rains. There is also a kind of cartelisation working with farmers holding up stocks hoping for even higher price.
The fresh arrival of northern variety of onion is over and the current supply is from the old stocks stored in warehouses.
This will continue till new crop from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh hits market in September. However, prices may ease only after new crop from Karnataka arrives in October.
This is the first time that onion prices have climbed in July. Generally, onions turn expensive from September, ahead of festival season.