Onion prices in the national capital started inching up from October 25 when the rates were at Rs 40 per kg, which doubled to Rs 80 per kg on October 29.
Prices, however, fell marginally to Rs 78 per kg on October 30 and remained at the same level on Tuesday as well, the data from the consumer affairs ministry showed.
At present, the average retail onion prices are ruling at the highest level in Delhi compared to other states and union territories.
The second highest increase in the prices was in Goa and Puducherry where the average retail price was at Rs 72 per kg on Tuesday.
In other states, the retail prices were ruling in the range of Rs 41-69 per kg.
According to official sources, prices in both wholesale and retail markets across the country have shot up purely due to speculation despite 15-20 lakh tonnes of rabi crop stock available in Maharasthra that is sufficient to meet the demand for a month.
A likely fall in fresh kharif output and two weeks’ delay in arrival cannot be the sole reason for the sudden spike in onion prices. There is enough old crop stock to meet the domestic demand and even the government has maintained 5 lakh tonnes of buffer stock, the sources said.
Further, the sources said the imposition of minimum export price on onion on October 29 at USD 800 per tonne till December-end is helping in cooling down prices, especially in Maharasthra, where prices fell 4-10 per cent on October 30.
The kharif crop has started arriving in small quantities in mandis but in bigger quantities will start coming from the second week of November from key growing states of Karnataka, Maharasthra, and Andhra Pradesh.
Till the new crop hits the market, the government will release buffer stock to increase the availability and check price rise. So far, 1.8 lakh tonnes of onion have been released in the market.
The country has exported about 15 lakh tonnes of onion till October 20 of this fiscal. Total onion exports stood at 25 lakh tonnes in the 2022-23 fiscal, as per the official data.
Onion is grown in three seasons — kharif, late kharif and rabi. It is only rabi onion which is stored as the variety grown in this season has a longer shelf life.