FAISALABAD: Onion prices have increased sharply as commission agents and stockists are said to have created an acute shortage of the commodity while exporters are making hectic purchases to meet commitments.
The price of onions which were available at Rs12 per kilogramme about two weeks ago, has gone up to Rs40-50 per kg.
Traders said in the wake of reports from parts of Sindh about damage to the onion crop due to devastating rains and floods, commission agents and stockists had created artificial shortage of onion in the market.
Sindh is a big producer of onions, which not only provides the vegetable to the whole of Punjab and but also exports good quality produce.
Market sources told The Express Tribune in spite of the floods sufficient stocks of onion were available but commission agents were holding back on the commodity, creating a gap between demand and supply.
They said exporters had already made commitments for export of 200,000 tons of onions and were desperately buying the commodity at high prices from the market and this also played a part in the shortage of onion.
Sources revealed the stockists and commission agents had purchased onions at Rs6 to Rs8 per kg, which was now being marketed at Rs40 to Rs50 per kg.
Leading market players were of the view that in the present situation the country might need to import the commodity to meet demand.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2011.