New Delhi: With onion prices softening in the domestic market, agri-cooperative NAFED has drastically cut the Minimum Export Price (MEP) of the edible bulb to $250 per tonne (Rs9,899) from $425 a tonne for December to boost overseas sales.
“We have reduced the MEP of onion by $175 a tonne,” National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation Managing Director Alok Ranjan said. The average MEP now stands at $250 per tonne, he added.
NAFED and 12 other agencies issue no-objection certificate for onion exports and fix MEP every month for various overseas destinations. The MEP was reduced by $70 a tonne on 20 November. The revision was done in the middle of the month as MEP was kept unchanged at the start of last month due to Diwali.
Ranjan attributed a sharp cut in MEP for onion to drastic fall in domestic prices, which have even led to protest by farmers in some parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka. “Domestic price has fallen drastically. Wholesale price in Nasik has declined to about Rs 500 per quintal,” he said.
Ranjan said the reduction in MEP would help increase the onion export. “We have lost the export market,” he said. The export price for Bangladesh has, however, been cut only by 80 dollars to 350 dollar per tonne, another NAFED official said.
The prices of onion, a politically sensitive commodity, have dipped in the growing belts of Maharashtra and other states. In Maharashtra’s Lasalgaon wholesale market, prices slumped to Rs 709 per quintal on November 30 from Rs 1,421 per quintal at the beginning of the last month.