New Delhi, Jan 19 (Agencies): The sliding wholesale prices of onion pushed down its retail rate by Rs 10 a kg in Delhi and Mumbai today, providing some relief to the consumers who had been moved to tears due to its skyrocketing cost.

Onion prices dropped to Rs 30-50 a kg in retail in the national capital and Mumbai from Rs 40-60 a kg on Tuesday, traders said.

But, Kolkata and Chennai were not so lucky where the vegetable maintained yesterday's level of Rs 45-60 per kg in retail, they said.

Retail price of tomato, which has entered into a contest offlate with onion, also lowered by Rs 10 a kg in Delhi and Kolkata. It was available at Rs 40-50 a kg in Delhi and at Rs 20-30 a kg in the Eastern metropol on Wednesday.

However, in Chennai, the retail price of the vegetable increased by Rs 5 a kg at Rs 45 a kg since yesterday, a report said.

Drop in onion prices in Delhi and Mumbai is attributed to sliding rates in wholesale markets in the past one week.

Cost of bulk purchase of onions has come down by about Rs 18 a kg in Delhi's Azadpur market (Asia's biggest fruits & vegetables wholesale market) since January 13, when it had zoomed to Rs 50 a kg.

Onion was being sold at Rs 12-32 a kg in Azadpur market on Wednesday, General Secretary Onion Merchants Association Rajendra Sharma said.

The cost of onions also relented in other major cities.

The Consumer Affairs Ministry data on retail prices of some essential commodities revealed that onion sold at Rs 34 a kg in Patna, while it was available at Rs 45 a kg in Lucknow, Rs 33 a kg in Hyderabad and Rs 44 a kg in Bangalore today.

It, however, remained expensive in Shimla and Itanagar at Rs 60 a kg respectively, it said.

General Secretary of Azadpur based Tomato Merchants Association, Subhash Chugh said supply of the crop picked up on Wednesday . More than 20 trucks (each carrying 8-9 tonnes) loaded with tomato reached Azadpur today, he said adding no truck headed for export to Pakistan, as the vegetable fetched good price at home itself.

Meanwhile, out of the 200 tonnes of onion to be imported from Pakistan, 180 tonnes had reached Mundra port in Gujarat on last Friday. The stock has now reached Delhi, official sources said.

While, a portion of the imported onion from the neighbouring country was made available to agri-cooperative Nafed, the remaining were auctioned in the Azadpur market at a rate of 26.90 per kg, the sources added.