NEW DELHI: Onion exports fell sharply by 87 per cent to below 20,000 tonne in September on government restrictions.
Exports were at 1,50,833 tonne in the year-ago period. In the last few months, the government has taken several measures to control onion prices in the domestic retail market but they continue to be in the range of Rs 60-70 a kg.
It had also raised the minimum export price (MEP) of onions to $ 900 per tonne from $ 650 per tonne to curb outbound shipments. MEPis a benchmark price below which onion cannot be exported.
“Exports declined in a significant way in the last two months due to MEP. We exported 29,247 tonne in August and it has further come down to 19,218 tonne in September this year,” a senior government official told PTI.
Despite lower quantity of shipments, the country earned Rs 108.96 crore last month as export realisation remained significantly higher at Rs 56,700/tonne as compared to Rs 11,304/tonne in the year-ago period, he said.
In September 2012, India exported 1,50,833 tonne but earned only 170.51 crore.
In the first six months of the current fiscal, onion exports fell to 7,16,246 tonne from 10,01,467 tonne in the same period last year.
Even as export volumes are coming down, onion prices in the domestic market continue to rule at unaffordable levels of Rs 60-70 per kg in most retail markets.
Domestic supply is being improved through imports as well. But the significant impact on prices are expected to be seen with the arrival of new crop from Maharashtra and other growing states from end of this month.