Govt bans export of onions with immediate effect

New Delhi (NVI): The government of India banned the export of all onion varieties, to contain prices of the commodity in the domestic market and increase its availability.

“The export of all varieties of onions is prohibited with immediate effect,” the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) yesterday said in a notification

The government had banned all varieties of onion except those cut, sliced, or broken in powder form amid a shortage in supply.

India is the world’s biggest exporter of onions, a staple of South Asian cooking. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, and Gujarat are major onion producing states.

While countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka rely on Indian shipments.

Notably, 40 per cent the country’s total onion crop is produced in the Kharif season and the rest during the rabi season. The Kharif crop, however, cannot be stored.

The decision to ban export of onion have been taken in wake of recent spike in onion prices due to a shortage of supply from the Nashik region

In Delhi, onion prices were ruling at around Rs 40 per kilogram. Wholesale price inflation for onion stood at (-) 34.48 per cent in August.

Likewise, the wholesale prices in India’s largest onion trading hub, Lasalgaon in the western state of Maharashtra, have nearly trebled in a month to 30,000 rupees per tonne.

Earlier in March this year, the government lifted nearly six-month-old ban on export of onions to help boost the income of farmers.

The DGFT, an arm of the commerce ministry, which deals with exports and imports-related had announced removing the minimum export price (MEP) for outward shipments of the commodity from March 15.

However, in the financial year 2019-20, India exported USD 440 million of onions and USD 198 million during the April-June quarter of the current fiscal.

-RJV