I live in Bahrain. Have been here for the last 15 years. The price of onion has always been the same – around 200 to 300 fils per kilogram.
In Indian currency, this today translates to around 50 rupees.
And most of Bahrain’s onions come from India. So why are onion prices in India touching 100 rupees per kilo?
If Indian onion (possibly the best ) is available in Bahrain for 50 rupees, why is it nearly twice as much in the producer country? Are they being illegally smuggled into the Gulf, to be able to sell so cheap, as compared to their rates back home?
Why is it in such short supply within the country that Indians living in India have to pay twice as much than those living abroad? Is it artificial shortage? Something to do with the approaching elections, which are round the comer and everything on the common man’s plate is going to get more expensive by April 2014.
It’s a ploy perfected over the years. And it might just work – yet again.
Any Indian meal, anywhere in the country, is incomplete without onions. Even by a conservative estimate, a family of four can consume a kilo of onions a day. They are still buying – and crying – and perhaps cutting down on other things.
There is another side to the story. Will the sellers, who now know they are selling at 80 or 100 rupees a kilo, ever go back to the 15 or 20 rupees they were selling at a few weeks earlier, when the supply resumes to normal?
They know people will buy at any rate and so charge as they please – perhaps 40 or 50 but not 15 or 20. They would not want to sell cheap. And so the price will stay.
Another thing. Will the prices crash with a change in government? Unlikely.
Perhaps, it will be tomatoes next, or the humble potato?