Nafed cuts onion export price by $70 a tonne

Nafed cuts onion export price by $70 a tonne


New Delhi: National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (Nafed ), the nodal agency for onion exports, has reduced the minimum export price by $70 to an average of $425 a tonne.

“We have reduced the minimum export price (MEP) of onion by $70 a tonne for only the Nasik varieties with effect from yesterday (20 November)," a Nafed official said, adding the decision was taken as domestic prices have softened.

However, MEPs of other varieties, which command lower rates than the Nasik onions, have not been changed, he said.

After the revision, the MEP stood in the range of $375-495 a tonne, depending on the countries to which onions are exported, the official added.

The wholesale price of the bulb at mandis in Nasik fell to Rs611 a quintal on 21 November from Rs751 a quintal the previous day.

In Delhi’s Azadpur wholesale market, onion prices dipped to Rs760 per quintal from Rs800 per quintal, traders said.

On 31 October, NAFED and other agencies had decided not to tinker with MEP for November in view of festive season as retail prices were yet to come down substantially. However, they had said that situation would be reviewed after Diwali.

NAFED and 12 other state-trading agencies, notified by the government to undertake onion export, decide MEP every month. Last month, the MEP was hiked by $50 to $445-565 a tonne, depending on the export destinations.

The government had last week also removed the requirement of ‘export licence’ for overseas sale of onions. Both these steps are likely to boost the export of the bulb.

Onion exports plummeted by 44% last month at 22,500 tonnes compared to 40,490 tonnes in September 2007.

Meanwhile, traders welcomed the decision to reduce the MEP of onions as they hope it will boost exports.

“With the reduction, we will be able to sell onions to Sri Lanka, which was importing from China," a Mumbai-based exporter said, adding that the withdrawal of export license norm would also increase the overseas sale.