Wholesale onion prices rose 4-fold from March to Jan – WPI data

Price rise continued to be high during the third week of January, according to numbers released by the Commerce Ministry on Thursday.

The highest price increase was, expectedly, in Onions. Prices were more than double that of the same week a year ago, resulting in a whopping whole-sale price increase of 130% for the vegetable. Onion prices were 6.5% higher compared to the second week of January, indicating that wholesale prices were catching up with the rapid increase in retail markets as of mid January.

The price rise was higher when compared to March 2010 than when compared with January 2010 as last winter too had seen a spike in vegetable prices. Against 2.3 times the price of January 2010, onions were selling for nearly four times their wholesale price at the end of March 2010, according to the numbers collected by the ministry during the week-ended 22 January, 2011.

The high prices of onions made vegetables the priciest category in food articles. Vegerable prices were up 107%, or double, compared to March 2010, during the week. Prices of fruits, eggs, milk and meat were up only around 10% compared to March and 11-15% higher compared to a year ago.

Overall food article prices were higher by 17%, both from March and a year ago. Pulses and wheat were the only primary food items that saw a decline in prices or remained stead.

Petrol prices were higher by 31%, thanks to the multiple increases in prices by state-run oil companies, while LPG and Diesel prices were higher by 15% compared to the same week a year ago.