The removal of restrictions on onion exporters has brought good tidings for traders. Nearly 1.5 lakh tonne of onion are being exported every month after the Centre scrapped the minimum export price (MEP) in December 2015.
According to Ajit Shah, president, Horticulture Producers Exporters Association, exports have picked up substantially after the Centre removed restrictions on the bulb. Indian onion is now going to markets in the Gulf, Far East, Indonesia and Colombo, usually the traditional markets for onions. These export deals have been contracted at rates ranging around $ 250 per quintal, he said.
Shah said exports have maintained pace after the the removal of restrictions and the Indian onion is being preferred over other countries. India’s onion has been among the most competitive in the export market, beating traditional rivals like Pakistan and Egypt and even China. Onion from Indian is being exported to the Far East, West Asi and, Sri Lanka. Shah said the market is a bit on the lower side and prices were down but exports were doing well.
Wholesale onion rates at Lasalgaon, the country’s biggest hub for onion trade, came down to R850 per quintal on Friday, the season’s lowest so far. A couple of days ago, modal onion prices came down to R900 per quintal. Onion arrivals have also improved to some 18,000 quintals. R P Gupta, director, National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF) said earlier that onion prices have been continuously falling from October as there was a spike in supplies with the arrival of the late kharif onion crop.
Overall onion production during the current year, 2015-16, is expected to be improve by around 10-15% in the country subject to favourable weather conditions, the latest report of the NHRDF states. According to the report, transplanting of Rabi onion seedlings in Maharashtra has begun from from mid December, 2015 and will continue till the end of January, 2016. The transplanting of onion seedlings in other states especially in northern states expected to start from mid-January which will continue till end of February. The area under rabi season onion therefore is expected to be more by 15-20%.
Moreover, this season, there has been an overlapping of the kharif and late kharif crop and this has affected arrivals. The harvesting of the kharif onion crop in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar is in full swing and the arrivals of onion in major markets has increased. The quality of the onions coming to the markets is also very good, the report notes.