Wholesale and retail onion prices in most parts of the country have increased sharply since July. In the national capital, retail onion prices are ruling as high as Rs 80/kg compared with Rs 22/kg a year earlier.
    
According to officials, Maharashtra, where the maximum quantity of onions is stored, has been asked to ensure steady supplies of the staple vegetable in consuming states.

Last month, the government imposed a minimum export price on onions at USD 650 a tonne to curb shipments and control rising prices, after which onion shipments in August dropped to 29,000 tonne from an average of more than 1 lakh tonne a month.
    
Nafed, which has floated global tenders to import onions, has not yet taken a decision due to phytosanitary issues. Some private traders have imported onions and are selling them in the domestic market.
    
The shortage of onions in the country has arisen because most of the stored quantities from last year's crop have been exhausted and fresh supplies from South India have yet to reach consuming states.

(Agencies)

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