As onion prices cool down, 7,000 tonnes of imported onions have been rotting for about a month, in container freight stations (CFSs) at Navi Mumbai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), The Hindu BusinessLine has reported.
According to the report, importers are in no hurry to clear their consignments as the landed cost of onions is way above than the local market prices.
Onion prices has plummeted sharply with the key kitchen staple now reportedly selling for Rs 23 per kilogram in the wholesale market. The landed cost of the imported bulbs works out to be Rs 45 per kg.
This has led importers to go slow on clearing consignments from the CFSs. They now want shipping companies to waive certain charges so that their landed costs come down, the report said citing sources.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.
A CFS is a warehouse where goods are stored before being shipped to multiple customers.
Onion is grown during both Kharif (summer) and Rabi (winter) seasons. The Agriculture Ministry had recently said that there was around 22 percent damage in Kharif onion crop due to late monsoon and excess rainfall later — which led to supply constraints and a sharp rise in prices.
Anticipating shortage in the market amid crop damage, traders had placed their orders in the Egyptian market by early October 2019, sources told the publication.
The orders arrived at JNPT after November 1 at a landed cost of Rs 26-28 per kg, while in the retail markets the prices had reached Rs 130 per kg, they said.
After a while, the local supply improved and buyers of the imported and non-spicy onions from markets such as Egypt and Turkey reduced significantly.
Meanwhile, in what comes as further relief for consumers from high prices of onions, the government has projected the country’s overall production of the bulb to increase by 7 percent to 24.4 million tonnes in the current 2019-20 crop year.
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