Onion exports jump 25% in 2013-14 on higher unit value

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: May 13 2014, 06:50am hrs
Backed by a spurt in unit value realisation, India's onion exports surged in value terms by more than 25% to R2,877 crore in the 2013-14 fiscal, even as volumes registered tepid growth.

The country's total onion exports had stood at R2,294 crore in the 2012-13 fiscal.

However, in volume terms, exports fell by 25.46% to 13.58 lakh tonne during financial year 2013-14 as against 18.22 lakh tonne in the previous year.

Exports in value terms rose in 2013-14 primarily on account of increase in unit value realisation," said a senior official of the cooperative firm Nafed

(National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India).

According to Nafed data, the unit value realisation improved by 68% to R21,183 per tonne from R12,590 per tonne in the review period.

Onion shipments picked up since December 2013 after the government lowered the minimum export price (MEP) to $150 a tonne from $350 a tonne.

The government had imposed MEP on onion in September 2013, after which it was raised several times to curb exports and boost domestic supplies as retail prices had shot up as high as R100 per kg in many parts of the country.

The government had to even import onion to control price rise.

With improved domestic supplies and crash in wholesale rates, the Centre had later done away with the MEP to boost exports.

India's onion production is estimated to be higher by 13% at 189.8 lakh tonne in the 2013-14 crop year (July-June), from R168 lakh tonne a year ago.