India’s onion exports fell sharply by 81% to 29,247 tonne in August as compared to same period a year ago, after the government imposed curbs on the overseas sale to improve domestic supply and check prices.
On August 14, the government had imposed a minimum onion export price of $650 per tonne to restrict shipments and control prices after it touched R80 per kg in retail markets on supply crunch. The retail price of onion continues to rule at R50-60 per kg in most parts of the country.
According to the data maintained by the cooperative Nafed, onion exports declined to 29,247 tonne in August this year from 1,56,283 tonne in the same month last year. In value terms too, shipments dropped to R125.46 crore from R164.92 crore in the review period.
During the April-August period of this fiscal, onion exports fell to 6,97,028 tonne as against 8,50,634 tonne in the year-ago period. However, in value terms, the outbound shipments rose sharply to R1,341 crore from R844 crore in the said period.
According to traders, exports in the coming weeks would depend on the supply situation. The supply of onion is limited during the lean period of July-October, as 60% of produce is grown during the rabi season of March-June.
The rest is produced during the Kharif season of October-December and late Kharif season of January-March period.
India, the second largest producer of onion in the world after China, is estimated to have harvested 166 lakh tonne of the staple vegetable last year. The country had earned R2,294 crore from the export of 18.22 lakh tonne of onion in FY 2012-13.