The government has slashed the minimum export price (MEP) for onions by USD 50 to Rs USD 375 per tonne for November to encourage shipments this month amid arrival of new crop.
“The onion MEP has been fixed at USD 375 per tonne for November,against USD 425 per tonne in the previous month,” said a senior official with agri-cooperative Nafed,which is the government’s nodal agency for regulating onion exports.
The MEP has been lowered to boost exports in the current month as fresh arrival of onion is expected to increase from mid-November,he said.
Harvesting of Kharif onion crop is continuing in Andhra Pradesh,Karnataka,Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra,he added.
Between July and September — normally the lean season the government had kept onion MEP higher to curb exports and tame domestic prices.
The wholesale prices at Lasalgaon,in Maharashtra,which is Asia’s biggest onion market,have declined by 25 per cent to Rs 1,203 per quintal today from Rs 1,601 per quintal in the same period last year,according to official data.
The country has shipped 10.10 lakh tonnes of onion so far this fiscal,against 12.99 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period,the official data showed.
India’s onion output (including Kharif and Rabi season) is pegged at around 130 lakh tonnes in 2010-11.
Agri-cooperative major Nafed,along with 13 other agencies involved in onion exports,regulates exports by fixing the MEP every month. No export can take place below the MEP and all contracts are registered with Nafed.
India exports onions to Bangladesh,the West Asia,Singapore and Malaysia.