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Retail prices of onions rise to P240 a kilo

Bella Cariaso - The Philippine Star
Retail prices of onions rise to P240 a kilo
“If the onions are sold at P110 in the cold storage and the imported (bulbs) continue to arrive, the retail price should only be P160 (per kilo). If it is P220, P240, it is already overpriced,” So said.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The retail price of onions further increased to P240 per kilo after cost reached as high as P220 a few days ago, even as farmers’ group Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) said there is no reason for prices to go up as imported onions continue to flood the market.

In an interview with The STAR, SINAG chairman Rosendo So said the prevailing price of onions in cold storage facilities is only P110 per kilo.

“If the onions are sold at P110 in the cold storage and the imported (bulbs) continue to arrive, the retail price should only be P160 (per kilo). If it is P220, P240, it is already overpriced,” So said.

Based on latest monitoring of the Department of Agriculture (DA), local red onions are sold as high as P240 per kilo; imported white onions, P210 per kilo; imported red onions, P140 per kilo and local white onions, P170 per kilo.

Red onions are priced as high as P240 per kilo in Pateros Market; P200 per kilo in La Huerta Market in Parañaque City and Navotas Agora Market.

So said farmers in Mindoro are suffering losses amid the low prices in cold storage facilities.

“The farmers in Mindoro complained as they bought the onions at a high farmgate price and stored them at the cold facilities,” So noted.

He added that the farmers procured the onions at P70 per kilo and paid for the rent of the cold storage facilities.

“I don’t know what will be the action of the DA but nobody complied with the suggested retail price (SRP) when it was implemented,” So said.

Last year, the DA imposed P250 per kilo SRP for onions in December but the retail price went as high as P720 per kilo amid allegations of hoarding and manipulation.

So said there is ample supply of the bulbs with the expected increase in the demand during the holiday season.

“The Bureau of Plant Industry has yet to release an updated inventory (of onions) but there is no reason for the retail price to go up as even imported red onions are coming in,” he noted.

According to So, the DA should address the spike in the retail price of the bulbs and stop the unreasonable increase.

The retail price of onions started to increase by P30 per kilo on Nov. 7, setting the price at P220 per kilo in Metro Manila markets compared to the prevailing prices a week ago. As for DA’s price watch on Nov. 2, the highest retail price of local red onions was only P190 per kilo.

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