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onion price forecast- Onion prices to remain stable

Onion is one of the important vegetable crops grown in India and is almost indispensable in most of the culinary preparations. Onion is second only to tomato in importance as a vegetable in the tropics.
India is the 2nd largest producer (16.82 million tonne) of onion in the world (i.e.19.90 %)) next only to China (27%) but the productivity of onion in India is very low i.e. 14.21 tonne/ ha. as compared to other onion producing countries in the world. (Turkey (2.50%), Pakistan (2.24%) and Brazil (2.05%) are the other countries. There is a lot of demand for Indian onion in the world; major export destinations for India are Malaysia, Bangladesh, United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia and Nepal (2012-13). India exports about 10 per cent of the production owing to good import demand for Indian onion.
The country has reportedly exported 6.39 lakh tonne of onion amounting to Rs. 776.47 crore during April-July (first quarter) period of this fiscal, compared with 6.94 lakh tonne in the year-ago during the period. Production stood at 16.6 million tonnes in 2012-13.
Maharashtra is the major onion producing state in the country and ranks first in area under onion. It contributes about 27 per cent share in the production (45.46 lakh tonne) and 2.87 lakh hectors of area.  Area and production of onion in Karnataka in 2012-13 was 1.82 lakh hectors and 25.23 lakh tonne, respectively. Production in Madhya Pradesh is set to increase to 21.53 lakh tonne from 19.57 lakh tones. Other major onion producing states are Gujarat (15.62 lakh tonne), Bihar (12.80 lakh tonne), Andhra Pradesh (8.50 lakh tonne), Tamil Nadu (6.67 lakh tonne), Rajasthan (6.64 lakh tonne) and Haryana (5.16 lakh tonne). Most of the production in India is spring/ early summer onion which could be stored for longer period. Karnataka and Maharashtra produce kharif season onion which hits the markets during September through November months. This season the onion prices are all time high and farmers are anxious to know what would be the likely price during harvest. Major parts of the production belt are experiencing either excess rain or drought. Farmers have made a lot of investment to raise this crop. There is a lot of speculation regarding the price trend and farmers are concerned about the onion EXIM policy of the government.
Therefore, to help the farmers in taking a right decision on whether to go for selling onion or not, the NAIP – Market Intelligence Center of University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore collected data on onion prices from Bangalore market for the last eleven years & econometric analysis was carried out to predict the prices of onion for the next three months. Also an opinion survey of onion traders was conducted. Based on the analysis and Market survey, it is forecasted that the farmgate price of Kharif season well dried onion would be around Rs.35-45 per kg during the next three months of November 2013 to January 2014. This forecast prevails for current market sentiments & monsoon and could vary with changes in the market situation including imports and exports. Farmers are advised to take appropriate selling decisions.

Dr.C.P.Gracy, Jyoti Naik, Nagashree,N.
Department of Agricultural marketing co-operation and business Management
    UAS, GKVK, Bangalore-65

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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.