Prices of small onions or shallots are unlikely to increase, as shallot production this year was normal and Sri Lanka, where we used to export the staple vegetable, has begun cultivating the vegetable locally, says Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU ).
Local markets are already getting flooded with shallots from various production centres, said a statement from the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU).
According to TNAU's market intelligence department, the farmgate price of small onions will hover around Rs 21 to Rs 23 per kg in May and June.
"This is based on an analysis of prices that prevailed in the Dindigul market for the last 13 years," said the statement. "Farmers can take the decision to sell it immediately or store it and wait for around six months," said an official.
Experts do not see the possibility of the prices going up because a majority of the small onion producing region received good rainfall.
Since there was good rain, the production of shallots is expected to be high and arrivals from major growing centres like Dindigul, Tirupur, Perambalur and Theni have already begun," said the official.
The TNAU statement said that traders also indicated that there was a fall in export demand. "It is attributed to the cultivation of small onion in Sri Lanka," said the statement. Major export destinations for the vegetable are Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia and United Arab Emirates.
Small onions, which originated from Central and South East Asia, is a regular ingredient in most South Indian dishes. Tamil Nadu along with Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are the major small onion producing states in the country.
Most of the production of small onion is domestically consumed and the arrivals from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh facilitate domestic demand as well as export demand. Most traders stock the surplus arrivals during bumper harvest to sell them a few months later when supplies start coming down, said the statement.