On Monday, October 30, the Indian government announced a decline in onion prices in Maharashtra by 5-9% compared to the previous week due to its decision to set a Minimum Export Price (MEP). On October 28, the government imposed an MEP of US $800 per tonne on onion exports until December 31, aiming to enhance the availability of onions in the domestic market.
This move was immediately effective in Maharashtra, where the weighted average price of onions across markets dropped by 4.5%, and a similar decline was observed in consumption centers. The Department of Consumer Affairs is closely monitoring exports and prices on a daily basis to ensure stability in domestic prices and availability for consumers.
Anticipating increased demand in November, the department has begun releasing onion buffer stock into the market through mandi sales and discounted retail outlets in high-priced areas. Additionally, NAFED and NCCF have initiated procurement of an extra 2 lakh tonnes of onions from the kharif harvest to be distributed in high-price areas, thereby aiming to regulate onion prices.
In the national capital, however, onion prices remained high on Monday, averaging Rs 78 per kilogram in the retail market, according to government data. Nationally, the average onion price stood at around Rs 50.35 per kg, with the maximum rate recorded at Rs 83 per kg and the modal price at Rs 60 per kg, as reported by the Department of Consumer Affairs. The minimum rate remained at Rs 17 per kg.