New Delhi: India’s onion exports in December jumped to 1.21 lakh tonnes, nearly four times higher than the previous month, as a result of drastic cut in the minimum export price of the edible bulb.
The exports were only 30,714 tonnes during November 2007, according to Nasik-based National Horticultural Research Development Foundation (NHRDF).
However, exports in December 2007 were marginally lower compared to 1.23 lakh tonnes in the corresponding month in 2006.
During April-December period of the current fiscal, the exports fell by about 36% to 5.97 lakh tonnes as compared to 9.26 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period.
In terms of value, India has exported onion worth Rs788 crore during the first nine months of 2007-08 fiscal as against Rs809 crore a year ago.
Nafed, along with 12 other agencies, had drastically reduced the monthly minimum export price (MEP) of onion by $175 a tonne for most of the destinations for December shipments to boost the overseas sale of the commodity.
The onion MEP was further reduced by $50 a tonne to $200 a tonne for January shipments for most of the destinations.
The reduction in MEP became necessary as the domestic prices of onion, which soared up to Rs30 per kg in the retail market during the festive season last year, fell substantially on arrival pressure.
Onion prices in the producing belts of Maharashtra have dropped substantially during the past two months on increased arrival of the commodity in the wholesale markets.