After onions, the prices of garlic have jumped sharply over the last one month on lower availability of last year’s crop ahead of the commencement of winter sowing which raises hopes for increase in acreage this year.
Data compiled by Nashik-based National Horticultural Research & Development Foundation (NHRDF) shows garlic prices have more than doubled in the last one month to trade currently at Rs 152.50 a kg in Kolkata wholesale mandi.
In Bangaluru and Chennai, garlic prices have jumped by 43 per cent and 54 per cent to trade at Rs 92.50 a kg and Rs 170 a kg, respectively.
Garlic in Rajgarh, one of the largest garlic trading mandi by arrivals, wholesale market is trading at Rs 80 a kg on Thursday which indicates 100 per cent increase from its price of Rs 40 a kg a month ago.
“Very minimal quantity of last year’s low garlic output is left for sale this season. Its supply was reduced due to the unseasonal rainfalls in the last few weeks across the country. Since farmers are preparing to commence sowing for the ensuing winter season, there has been a huge demand for conventional sowing of garlic as seeds. Apart from that, the new crop arrivals are at least three months away. Since import opportunity is limited due to high prices in global markets, garlic prices in India have also jumped significantly in the last one month,” said Ajit Shah, President, Horticulture Export Association.
In retail markets, however, garlic prices have doubled to trade at Rs 200 a kg today as compared to Rs 100-120 a kg about a month ago.
“Consumers will have to bear with the current high prices of garlic till the new season crop hits mandis which is expected by January-end,” said Shah.
Garlic is considered as medicinal herb which has cold-resistance capacity. Hence, its demand normally increases during winter season. Thus, stockists have started building their inventory ahead of peak winter demand.
Onion bounces back
Onion prices have bounced back to trade currently at Rs 35 a kg (model) in the benchmark Lasalgaon mandi after falling to the level of Rs 20.50 a kg a week ago following government’s imposition of stock limit and export ban early this month.
“The unseasonal rainfalls in Karnataka have reduced onion supplies from Hubli, one of the largest producing centres of pre-season crop. Also, supply from Nashik district of Maharashtra has also declined significantly which pushed onion prices up. Onion prices are likely to remain elevated till supply gets restored,” said Jaydatta Sitaram Holkar, chairman, Lasalgaon Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC).
NHRDF data show total onion arrivals at 290 tonnes on Wednesday, a decline of around 50 per cent from 532 tonnes, the highest supply recorded after imposition of stock limit and export ban, on October 17.