India, the world's biggest exporter of onion, banned exports of onions in September last year to keep domestic supplies intact. (Photo Credit: Reuters)
India has lifted a ban on onion exports, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Wednesday, as prices of the bulb have fallen sharply in the last few weeks on expectations of a big crop. “Since the price of onions has stabilised and there is bumper onion crop, government has decided to lift ban on export of onions,” Paswan said on Twitter.
India, the world's biggest exporter of onion, banned exports of onions in September last year to keep domestic supplies intact after flooding in several states worsened seasonal shortages, leading to a spike in local prices.
Since the price of onion has stabilized and there is bumper onion crop, government has decided to lift ban on export of onions. Expected monthly harvest in March is over 40 lakh MT compared to 28.4 lakh MT last year.— Ram Vilas Paswan (@irvpaswan) February 26, 2020
Wholesale prices of onions have more than halved in the last five weeks, according to data compiled by National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation, a government agency.
There was shortage of onion as kharif crop was adversely affected due to excess rains and floods in key producing states, including Maharasthra. Currently, the arrival of rabi (winter) crop of onion has begun in small quantities and would increase from mid-March onwards.
In March alone, onion arrivals are expected to be as high as 40.68 lakh tonne (Metric Tonne) when compared with 28.44 lakh tonne in the year-ago period, as per the sources. The arrival is anticipated to be higher at 86 lakh tonne in April compared to 61 lakh tonne in the year-ago, they added.
Exports of onion are expected to arrest sharp the fall in domestic prices and thereby protect the interest of growers, the sources said. During the meeting, the sources said import of pulses, especially urad, was also discussed.
(With PTI inputs)