New Delhi: Wholesale onions rates fell to as low as Rs5 per kg in the national capital today on the back of improved supply, but retail prices of the vegetable remained high at Rs40 a kg, reports PTI.
Onions were being sold at Rs5-Rs20 per kg in Azadpur mandi-Asia's biggest wholesale fruit and vegetables market, traders said.
They added it will take a few days for the fall in prices to reflect in retail markets. The retail prices have been hovering at the level of Rs40 a kg for the past four to five days.
"There is no shortage in supply of onions in the Azadpur market now, as a result of which the price has gone down significantly," Delhi Agricultural Marketing Board chairman Brahm Yadav said, adding that crisis is fast dissipating.
Onion wholesale rates touched Rs65 a kg in the last week of December, moving consumers to tears. Retail prices had hit the roof at Rs70-Rs85 a kg at that time in Delhi and other metros.
Rising prices of onion and other vegetables like tomato had flared the food inflation up to a high of 18.32% for the week ended 25th December.
The government, which faced criticism over high food prices, took various measures to rein in price rise, including removal of import duty on onion and a ban on exports of the commodity. The rate of price rise of food articles slipped to a level of 15.52% in the first week of January.
Onion prices have dropped in Lasalgaon and Pimpalgaon, the main onion markets at Nashik, the main producing area, as well.
Onions were available at Rs13 a kg in Lasalgaon today, the National Horticultural Research Development Foundation (NHRDF)-which publishes daily wholesale rates of the vegetable in prominent cities-said.
Similarly, onion wholesale prices fell to Rs14 a kg at Pimpalgaon today, the NHRDF said.
The drop is significant as wholesale rates in these markets stood at Rs17 per kg and Rs18 per kg yesterday.
The sharp fall in prices has, however, triggered another problem as onion farmers in Nashik, Maharashtra, yesterday staged an agitation in front of the Lasalgaon Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee's offices to protest low prices.
Rajendra Sharma, the general secretary of the Onion Merchants Association in the Azadpur market told PTI that wholesale prices of good quality onions are expected to fall to Rs15 per kg by the end of January and Rs10 a kg in February.
New food minister K V Thomas had said recently that onion prices will improve from end-January.
Meanwhile, a total of 750 tonnes of onion out of the 1,000 tonnes imported by the government from Pakistan to boost domestic supply have reached the national capital so far.
The remaining 250 tonnes are on the way from the Mundra Port in Gujarat and they are expected to reach here in the next 3-4 days, official sources said.
The government has been under fire over rising prices, especially of food items. Besides onion, prices of vegetables like tomato have put the government in a tight spot.
New Delhi: Pharmaceutical major Dr Reddy's Laboratories today posted a consolidated net profit of Rs273.14 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2010. The company had a net loss of Rs521.70 crore in the same period last fiscal, reports PTI.
The company's net income from sales and services stood at Rs1,898.51 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, while the same was Rs1,729.64 crore in the same period last fiscal.
On a standalone basis, the company posted a net profit Rs 262.77 crore for the third quarter ended 31 December 2010, up 56.02%, as compared to Rs168.42 crore in the same period previous fiscal.
Mumbai: Following a 1.79% drop in its net profit to Rs637.51-crore for the quarter ended December 2010, Hindustan Unilever (HUL), India's largest packaged consumer goods firm by sales, is considering increasing prices of some of its products to maintain its profit margins, reports PTI quoting a top company official.
"The cost inflation is going to remain high. We are focusing on total value-chain cost. There needs to be pricing action and it will have to be judicious," HUL's chief financial officer (CFO), R Sridhar, said in a conference call here, while declining to specify which categories would see a price rise.
The company has increased the price of its Rin powder besides most of its soap brands, Mr Sridhar said.
"In an inflationary environment, we will manage our business dynamically, through judicious pricing actions and an increased focus on cost effectiveness, while ensuring that we remain competitive in the market place," HUL chairman, Harish Manwani, said in a statement.
HUL reported a 1.79% decline in its net profit for the quarter ended 31 December 2010, at Rs637.51-crore due to high input cost inflation in the soaps and detergents segment. The company's total income during the third quarter of the current fiscal, however, increased by 12.12% to Rs5,127.71-crore from Rs4,573.23-crore in the year-ago period.
Although the domestic consumer business of HUL recorded a volume growth of 13%, its expenditures in purchase of various goods increased substantially during the three-month period, the company said.