India's onion exports increased by 73.15 % in the first quarter of the current fiscal, as compared to the corresponding period of last financial year, due to the removal of the Minimum Export Price (MEP) and the availability of good quality onions.
The country has also set a new record for the highest monthly export, at 278,000 metric tonnes in June 2016, as against the previous high of 258,000 metric tonnes reported in March 2009.
Sources in the National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation (Nafed), said the country has exported 587,000 metric tonnes of onions in the first quarter (April-June 2016) as against 339,000 metric tonnes during the corresponding period of financial year 2015-16.
"The onion exports may touch 2 million tonnes in the current fiscal. The country had recorded the highest export of 1.873 million metric tonnes during the financial year 2009-10," sources said.
The government decision to remove the MEP of onions in December 2015 has started to show results. In December 2015, the government had reduced the MEP of onions from USD 700 per tonne to zero, to stabilise prices, following bumper arrivals in the markets.
Nafed director Nanasaheb Patil said there had been excess production of onions in the country this year that led to a decline in wholesale prices. In fact, the government had the opportunity to increase onion exports to stabilise prices in the wholesale market, but this was not done.
"We had also urged the Union government to export onions through central agencies like Nafed and Small Farmers' Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC). Both these agencies could have exported 500,000 metric tonnes each, the government did not take any decision," he regretted.
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