Onions go missing from Hyderabad restaurants as prices soar

Hyderabad Desk

Hyderabad: As onion prices saw a steep rise recently, the restaurants in Hyderabad are finding it difficult to serve onions. The retail onion prices that ranged between Rs 20-30 per kg a month ago are currently it is priced between Rs 40-50 per kg.

Siasat.com found several restaurants in Hyderabad where onions were not available with any course. One restaurant displayed a written message on its wall notifying customers that there were “no onions,” urging them to cooperate.

“NO ONIONS. Please cooperate with us,” the notice read.

The restaurant owner, who did not want to be identified, said, “When the customers ask for onions, we compensate by serving them turnip/carrot chutneys. Onion prices have spiked in recent times constraining our operating budget.”

He added: “People are very cooperative when it comes to things like this and they also understand the underlying factors for the unavailability of the course.”

This price hike comes because of a shortfall in production due to drought-like conditions in Maharashtra, the country’s leading onion-producing state. Moreover, the slower government procurement to maintain a buffer stock has also led to this sharp spike over the last month.

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A year ago, retail prices were around Rs 20 per kg, and wholesale prices were at Rs 1,581.97 per quintal. Contemporarily, the retail price of onions has increased by approximately 25%, while the wholesale price has risen by 15%.

“Essentially, onion remains the most important course with any dish as it enhances the taste with its sweet, sour, and crispy flavour,” another restaurant owner told Siasat.com. “However, in conditions like these, customers have to bear with it because of the price increase.”

“The prices keep on fluctuating every now and then, and prices of almost all vegetables have increased in recent times. We hope that it witnesses a dip very soon,” the restaurant said.

Interestingly, there were other restaurants that had not stopped serving onions but were asking for additional charges of Rs 10 per serving.

Market analysts predict that prices could exceed Rs 50 to Rs 60 per kg as the new kharif crop is not expected to arrive until September or October. The limited procurement by government agencies this year has encouraged traders and farmers to hold onto their stock, anticipating higher prices later.

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