Onion traders in Nashik are upbeat on the resumption of exports and hope to ship at least 2 lakh tonne of the commodity by next month.
Around 3,600 tonne of onion has been shipped to Sri Lanka and West Asian countries as part of the first outbound consignment after the Union government lifted ban on the exports of the kitchen staple.
The Centre had banned onion exports on September 29 last year and imposed countrywide stock limits to control soaring prices of the commodity ahead of assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana. The ban was lifted with effect from March 15 after a notification was issued by Directorate General of Foreign Trade of the Department of Commerce.
Onion traders in Nashik are upbeat on the resumption of exports and hope to ship at least 2 lakh tonne of the commodity by next month.“Exporters expect at least 1 lakh tonne to be exported from the country in the next fortnight. We expect a total of at least 2 lakh tonne to be exported with one lakh tonne to be completed in 15 days and another one lakh tonne next month,” said Ajit Shah, president, Onion Exporters Association of India.
He said, there are demands from neighbouring countries including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Asian nations, but the outbreak of coronavirus can hit the trade. “Exports have begun but the lifting of restrictions from the government has come a bit late, especially with the panic in the market over the coronavirus outbreak. There is little speed now and if the consignments lie at ports for weeks, it could result in loss of weight and quality of onions,” said Manoj Jain, an onion trader from Nashik.
There are demands from Gulf countries and South East Asia and deals are being struck verbally, which sometimes fall through, Jain said.
According to other exporters, onions from Nashik are in demand in Dubai, Oman, Singapore, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. The first consignment of onions began from the Inland Container Depot (ICD) and air cargo complex of Halcon, a JV between Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) and Container Corporation of India (Concor). Around 3,600 tonne onions had been exported to Colombo and west Asian countries, according to Halcon officials.