Red onion prices soar to over ₱700 per kilo

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 28) — The prices of red onions continue to shoot up as it reached up to ₱720 per kilo on Wednesday, or seven times more expensive than half a year ago, data from the Department of Agriculture (DA) showed.

Based on DA’s latest monitoring of Metro Manila markets, the per-kilo prices of local red onions now range from ₱500 to ₱720 — a substantial jump from just the day before, when the higher end of the price range was around ₱500. 

Local white onions meanwhile are currently sold at ₱600 per kilo.

A month ago, onions made headlines after per-kilo prices hit ₱300. Six months ago, it was at around ₱100.

The persistent price hikes have continued even after the DA said earlier this month that it was working to address the problem.

In a media briefing on Tuesday, DA deputy spokesman Rex Estoperez said there has been an unusual increase in prices of the agricultural product as it is “off season,” but he added that the department sees it may soon become cheaper due to the peak harvest season in January. 

The DA also recently said it would not import the commodity for the remainder of the year since supply is expected to increase.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Senior Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban earlier said they have discovered that smugglers are keeping stocks in warehouses.

READ: DA suspects syndicate hoarding red onions

A week ago, the Bureau of Customs confiscated smuggled red onions with an estimated value of ₱20 million in a port in Misamis Oriental. A few weeks before that, authorities intercepted some ₱30 million-worth of smuggled yellow onions.