New Delhi: India’s onion exports are likely to have increased by about 30% to 3.25 lakh tonnes during the first quarter of the current fiscal, helped by a low minimum export price (MEP) of the edible bulb.
“As per the information received till now, onion exports have already reached 3.17 lakh tonnes during April-June quarter of 2008-09, compared to 2.5 lakh tonnes in the corresponding quarter last year,” a senior government official said.
The official said that exports might go up by another 6,000-8,000 tons as cooperative major NAFED, which compiles data from other agencies, is yet to receive information from all agencies.
This provisional estimate is based on no-objection certificates (NOCs) issued by National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation and 12 other agencies, which are authorised to carry out onion export, he said.
Onion export was about 90,000 tonnes in June 2008, compared to 71,000 tonnes in the same month last year. India had exported 1.05 lakh tonnes in April and 1.28 lakh tonnes in May this year.
The average MEP of onion, which was $155-160 a tonne for June, was yesterday hiked by $25 a tonne for this month shipment.
“There is a good demand from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Gulf countries,” a trader said.
India had exported 9.96 lakh tons of onions in 2007-08, against 11.61 lakh tonnes in the previous fiscal. In value terms, exports dropped to Rs 1,116 crore from Rs 1,135 crore in the year-on-year period. NAFED along with 12 other agencies regulates the exports and fixes MEP every month.
Onion from southern states is exported mainly to Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore, while the Nasik varieties are sent to all export destinations.