Agri Business

Onion export price hiked to boost domestic supply

PTI New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on August 14, 2011


The Government has raised the export price of onion by $45 a tonne to $275 a tonne to check prices that have doubled in the last one month in the retail market and are currently ruling at Rs 20/ kg.

The Minimum Export Price (MEP) of two superior varieties — Krishnapuram onions and Bangalore Rose onions — have been increased by $50 a tonne to $400/ tonne. These two South Indian varieties were spared from the hike last time in July.

“MEP of Bangalore Rose onions and Krishnapuram onions will be $400 a tonne... (and) MEP of onions other than Bangalore Rose onions and Krishnapuram onions will be $275 per tonne,” the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification.

The onion MEP has been raised to discourage exports and boost the domestic supply, a senior government official said.

The decision comes in the backdrop of rising onion prices, which were stable during April-June period and had even fallen to Rs 10 a kg level in the retail markets.

Food inflation

The Government is worried also about high food inflation, which surged to a four-and-half month high of 9.9 per cent for the week ended July 30, due to costlier onions, fruits, vegetables and protein-based items.

The onion prices went up 36.62 per cent year-on-year, as per wholesale-based inflation data.

In December last year, the Government had imposed a ban on onion exports after its prices had skyrocketed to Rs 80-85 per kg in the retail markets across the country. The export ban was lifted in February after the cost eased.

While opening exports, the MEP of onions was fixed at $600/ tonne. In subsequent months, MEP was revised downwards several times to $170/ tonne level.

MEP hike is third since June

With prices again inching upwards, the Government has increased MEP three times since June to tame prices, and now it stands at $275 per tonne.

Traders at Azadpur in the national capital (Asia’s biggest wholesale fruits and vegetables market) said onion prices have increased on lower arrivals as the stock from last year’s crop is getting exhausted and prospect of supply of new crop, which starts from September, may get delayed.

Onion which was selling at Rs 10 a kg a month ago, soared to Rs 15/ kg last week before touching Rs 20 a kg in the Delhi and NCR, traders said.

India produced over 14 million tonnes of onion in the 2010-11 season.

The exports dropped by over 31 per cent in 2010-11 fiscal at 12.89 million tonnes against the year-ago period.

Published on August 14, 2011
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