No ban on onion exports, but process made slower

No ban on onion exports, but process made slower

New Delhi: The National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (Nafed), the government agency that facilitates onion trade, on Thursday said there was no bar on the export of the edible bulb after traders went on strike protesting a reported ban on selling the commodity overseas.

“The export of onions is still on. However, concerned by the rising prices of onion... certain measures have been pressed in to check the ongoing spurt in the prices of onion," Nafed managing director Alok Ranjan said in a statement.

Onion prices were ruling at Rs24-30 in retail markets in many parts of India, including New Delhi, due to the demand exceeding supply.

Nafed official said the agency was only going slow on issuing no objection certificates (NOCs) to exporters. To deter export of onion, Nafed had first increased the minimum export price by $50 (Rs1,978) for all destinations.

“New NOCs will now be issued to exporters when they submit the utilization report for NOCs issued to them earlier," he said.

Meanwhile, the traders’ stir against the reported export ban entered the second day on Thursday. They boycotted purchase of onions at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee complex in Nashik, North Maharashtra. The mandi will now reopen on Monday, Nafed’s Nashik branch manager Keshar Yadav said.

The onion price should come down as new crop from Pune, Sangli and some parts of Karnataka will start arriving in the market shortly, Yadav added. Industry estimates suggest that onion crops this year from both Maharashtra and Karnataka are better than last year.