Onion prices steady; tomato, garlic rates ease

New Delhi: Onion prices were steady at Rs40-Rs50 a kg in the retail markets of all metros but Chennai where it soared by Rs20 per kg, even as rates of tomato and garlic fell sharply in Kolkata and Mumbai, reports PTI.

Fall in arrival of supplies led to the sharp surge in onion prices in Chennai, traders said, pointing that against 10 lorries yesterday only three lorries arrived in the wholesale market there today.

Delhi, too, saw wholesale rate of onion increase by about Rs3 a kg in Azadpur mandi, Asia's biggest wholesale market of fruits and vegetables, due to drop in arrivals owing to fog, but there was no pass through effect in retail prices.

The wholesale rate at Azadpur ruled at Rs12-Rs40 per kg.

Good news for households came from Kolkata and Mumbai where prices of tomato and garlic eased by up to Rs15 per kg and up to Rs100 a kg, respectively, today, although they remained unchanged in Delhi and Chennai at Rs40-Rs50/kg and Rs250-Rs300/kg respectively.

Besides a marginal rise in Delhi, wholesale rate of onion also rose in Pimpalgaon (by Rs8/kg at Rs46/kg) while it eased substantially (by Rs16/kg at Rs31/kg) in Lasalgaon (the largest onion market in the country).

Nashik-based National Horticultural Research Development Foundation director RK Gupta attributed today's onion price rise at Pimpalgaon to farmers' unhappiness over softening of rates.

"Some farmers in the area are unhappy over softening prices of the vegetable and hence are bringing less quantity to the purchasing centres," Mr Gupta told PTI over the phone.

Azadpur market-based Onion Merchants Association general secretary Rajendra Sharma said: "There has been substantial fall in number of vehicles arriving in the market today from Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh."

Only about 550 tonnes of onion reached Azadpur market today against 850 tonnes yesterday, Mr Sharma added.

In the national capital, state-run outlets such as Nafed, Kendriya Bhandar and NCCF were selling the edible kitchen bulb at a concessional rate of Rs35 a kg, while Mother Dairy was vending onions at Rs40 per kg.

"Onion continues to sell at Rs40 a kg from our outlets in Delhi today...the rate is monitored on a daily basis after watching the price trend in the wholesale market," Mother Dairy spokesperson Neha Banerjee told PTI.

Meanwhile, a team of agriculture ministry officials reached Nashik today to assess the extent of damage to the crop due to unseasonal rains in November-December this year, official sources said.

Onion had shot up to Rs70-Rs80 a kg in the last fortnight, prompting government to take urgent action including a ban on exports and abolition of import duty, while many state governments facilitated sale of onion at a concessional price.

As onion prices started easing following government intervention, prices of tomato and garlic had started surging.

A top agriculture ministry official said yesterday that there was no rationale behind the increase in rates of tomato and garlic, even though one could appreciate the spurt in onion on account of the damage to the crops due to rain.

In Mumbai today, tomato prices fell by Rs12 a kg at Rs48/kg from yesterday's level of Rs60/kg while it dipped by Rs15/kg at Rs25 per kg in the Eastern metropolis.

Garlic, which is used both as a kitchen spice and to make ayurvedic medicines, fell sharply in Mumbai and Kolkata by Rs100/kg and Rs50/kg respectively. It sold at Rs200/kg in the two metropolis from Rs300/kg and Rs250/kg respectively there yesterday.
An Empowered Group of Ministers on food headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee is meeting here in the backdrop of high prices of vegetables, especially onion, tomato and garlic.

A report from Lucknow said that prices of onions tumbled in the wholesale market today after the district administration opened 25 outlets for sale of the vegetable at Rs22-Rs24 a kg since yesterday.

Buoyed by the success of the outlets, the district administration plans to open 25 more outlets to sell onions at low rates, an official said.

Sources in Azadpur market claimed that in order to cash in on the exorbitant prices of garlic (at Rs300 a kg in retail and Rs120-Rs180/kg in the wholesale market), some traders were illegally bringing garlic from China into the country via Nepal.

India had banned import of garlic from China two years ago following the detection of fungus in consignments of Chinese garlic.

From the Himalayan states, it is being transported to Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai and Coimbatore through trains from Bihar, which shares a border with Nepal, they claimed.


PNGRB invite bids for gas pipelines

New Delhi: The Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has invited bids for laying two natural gas pipelines, which will partly include the one already being laid by Reliance Industries (RIL) to transport gas from its eastern offshore fields, reports PTI.


The oil and gas regulator has invited expression of interest (EoI) for a pipeline from Chennai (in Tamil Nadu) to Nellore (in Andhra Pradesh), according to an advertisement by the board.


This section is part of the 600km Kakinada (in Andhra Pradesh) to Chennai that RIL was authorised to lay to transport natural gas from its eastern offshore KG-D6 fields.


PNGRB has similarly invited bids for a line from Kakinada to Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh, which form part of RIL’s under-implementation 1,100km Kakinada to Basudevpur (in Orissa) pipeline.


The board invited bids even through the question whether the regulator is empowered to give firms the authorisation to lay pipelines is to be decided by the Supreme Court.


PNGRB had previously invited bids for 1,585km pipeline from Mallavaram on the east coast of Andhra Pradesh to Bhilwara in Rajasthan, 1,680km line from Mehsana in Gujarat to Bhatinda in Punjab and 740km Bhatinda to Srinagar via Jammu line.


A consortium led by Gujarat State Petronet (GSPL) emerged a winner in the bids but the regulator is yet to issue formal authorisation in absence of the court decision on its authority to do so.


Section 16 of the PNGRB Act, which gives the board the powers to authorise entities to lay pipelines and build city gas distribution networks, was notified only on 15th July this year.


Irrespective of the Section 16, PNGRB had during past three years gone ahead with invitation of bids for city gas projects and pipelines, a move that has been challenged in the Supreme Court.


The apex court has posted the matter for hearing in August 2011.


A PNGRB official said RIL has been slow in implementing the two pipelines as well as the 670km Chennai-Tuticorin pipeline and so the board invited EoI to lay the sections.


RIL, on the other hand, has written to the PNGRB saying it has already completed acquisition of right-of-user (ROU) for the pipelines and the delay, if any, in the implementation was due to the uncertainty over who the government is going to allocate gas from KG-D6 fields.


The company says it does not have freedom to market the gas and a pipeline will become infructuous if the gas was allocated to regions other than where the line has been laid.


RIL was authorised to lay the two pipelines besides the Kakinada to Bharuch line in Gujarat, which is already operational.



Suneel Sardana

6 years ago

Why ministry of petrolium & natural gas has not taken any action against B.S.Negi,memberPNGRB for all his crimes of corruption is a matter of great concern & regret.Negi was found guility by Delhi High Court for many crimes of corruption& favourtism.Notification of section16 by G.O.I. tent amount & testify as grant of open licence of corruption to PNGRB without removing & punishing Negi & other corrupts,briber&autocrat. Jago India Jago.Join our movement to fight a war against CORRUPTION & INJUSTICE.

Tuesday Closing Report: A big move likely soon

The market opened a tad above its previous close, but volatile trade ahead of the futures and options expiry on Thursday kept the indices in a tight range leading to a flat close.

The market opened with minor gains on the back of mixed global cues. Choppy trade resulted in the key indices dipping in and out of the red ahead of the futures and options (F&O) expiry. The market touched the day’s low in noon trade, but volatility continued amid low volumes on limited participation of institutional investors as the calendar year comes to an end. The market closed flat.

The Sensex ended at 20,025.42, down 3.51 points or 0.02%. The benchmark touched a high of 20,090.41 and a low of 19,981.76 during the session. The Nifty settled 2.10 points (0.04%) lower at 5,996. The index scaled an intraday high of 6,010.90 and slipped to a low of 5,982.25.

Despite the volatility in the market, the market breadth was positive today. The Sensex had 19 advancing stocks against 11 in the declining list. The Nifty closed with 30 gainers and 20 losers. Among the broader indices, the BSE Mid-cap index added 0.07%, while the BSE Small-cap index ended 0.33% higher.

The top performers on the Sensex were HDFC Bank (up 2.02%), Tata Power (up 1.75%), Reliance Communications (up 1.72%), Wipro (up 1.31%) and ITC (up 0.94%). The laggards on the index were Tata Motors (down 2.53%), ICICI Bank (down 0.92%), State Bank of India (down 0.90%), Reliance Industries (down 0.75%) and ONGC (down 0.66%).

Today’s sectoral gainers were BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (up 0.63%), BSE Healthcare (up 0.47%) and BSE TECk (up 0.34%). The losers were led by BSE Oil & Gas (down 0.74%), BSE PSU (down 0.46%) and BSE Auto (down 0.35%).

Markets in Asia ended mixed on speculation that China could adopt harsher policy tightening measures in the New Year to curb rising prices. Mixed economic data from
Japan also kept investors on the sidelines.

The Jakarta Composite surged 0.96%, the KLSE Composite gained 0.38%, the Straits Times advanced 0.77% and the Seoul Composite rose 0.55%. On the other hand, the Shanghai Composite tumbled 1.74%, the Hang Seng declined 0.93%, the Nikkei 225 tanked 0.61% and the Taiwan Weighted was down 0.24% in trade today.

Futures trading in sugar resumed on Monday on a positive note, after a gap of 19 months, as the country’s top two national commodities exchanges MCX and NCDEX launched new contracts.

In May 2009, the government had banned sugar trading in the futures market for six months, to curb spiralling sugar prices. Later, the ban was extended till September 2010. However, despite the ban, sugar prices in the domestic market continued to hold firm and touched a high of Rs4,065 per quintal in January 2010, as the production in 2009-10 was estimated at 18.8 million tonnes, much below the consumption level of around 23 million tonnes.

Markets in the US closed steady on Monday as a blizzard moving across the north-eastern region dampened investor sentiments. However, stocks recovered from an early decline, led by financials. Meanwhile, retail sales, excluding autos, rose to $584 billion from 5th November through 24th December from a 4.1% gain last year, according to MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse, which measures retail sales by all payment forms.

The Dow fell 20.73 points (0.18%) at 11,552.76. The S&P 500 added 0.74 points (0.06%) at 1,257.51. The Nasdaq rose by 4.25 points (0.16%) at 2,669.85.

Foreign institutional investors were net buyers in the equities segment on Monday, having pumped in funds worth Rs246.31 crore. Domestic institutional investors were net sellers of stocks worth Rs113.89 crore.

Dish TV India (down 0.15%) has expanded its channel capacity by 50% to 648 MHz from the earlier 432 MHz by entering into a long-term contract for additional transponders on Asiasat with ‘Antriksh’. The move will benefit existing customers of the company as the new transponders are closely located to the current transponders, which will allow channels beamed from it to be made available to existing users.

This expansion will help the company to increase its standard definition (SD) channel capacity to over 320 and high definition (HD) to over 30 which will be substantially higher than any competing DTH operator in HD as well as SD transmission.

Cipla (up 0.33%) has informed the Bombay Stock Exchange that it has received fresh notices from the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority of the government of India. The company said that it has received further demand notices from the government demanding an amount of Rs47.70 crore in respect of the drug Salbutamol and an amount of Rs25.40 crore in respect of the drug Ciprofloxacin.

These demands are contrary to the Supreme Court orders and the company has received legal advice that entire amounts demanded by the government are not tenable and sustainable.

Auto-maker Mahindra & Mahindra (up 0.73%) today said it will raise the prices of its products across all categories in January due to increase in commodity rates. However, the company declined to comment on the quantum of the price increase. The hike follows the decision by auto major—Tata Motors—to hike vehicle prices by up to 1.5% from January.




6 years ago

Thanks for clarifying. I did mention a big move can happen but can not be concluded from mumbo jumbo in your article. You have now accepted that you can not reveal how you concluded a big move. This means text & data in the article does not support prediction of big move. Is it not a deceit to lure readers with a catchy headline and then talk about something else in the article? I am not asking to reveal any proprietory methodology but I am disappointed with a disconnect between headline and body of the article. It may also help to suggest a range for what you consider a big move. The phrase can have different connotations to different people. For me, big move is 10%+, for an intra-day guy it could be 0.5%. I have been a long-time fan of your & Sucheta's writings. I have been reading you since mid 1990s when you used to write a column in ET. I am sure this article is from your team member and not you. I'll continue to be a reader of your & Sucheta's writings.


Debashis Basu

In Reply to Deepak 6 years ago

Dear Deepak,
Very incisive points. Will see how we can explain bit more without disappointing you

Debashis Basu

6 years ago

Sensex was at 20025 on Tuesday.
It is 20,400 now. A big move (400 points) has happened. More gains are in store, possibly.
For obvious reasons we cannot reveal how we make these predictions. But we are more right than others. Stay tuned.


6 years ago

Headline to this article is a sweeping statement. The only point that the entire article mentions in support of this statement is +ve breadth & gain in broader indices. But this is just one set of data points and is not enough to conclude the big move. This set of data points have occured many times in past and does not necessarily follow with a big move unless there is a series of such days. Sensex/Nifty can still give big move but the move can not be deduced from the data points mentioned in the article.

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