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Onion exports up over 73% in first quarter.

Date: 26-09-2016
Subject: Onion exports up over 73% in first quarter
NASHIK: The onion export of the country has increased by 73.15 % in first quarter of the current fiscal as compared to the corresponding period of last financial year due to the removal of Minimum Export Price (MEP) and availability of good quality onions.

The country has also set a new record for the highest monthly export at 2.78 lakh metric tonnes in June 2016, against the previous high of 2.58 lakh metric tonnes reported in March 2009.

Sources in the National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation (Nafed) said the country has exported 5.87 lakh metric tonnes of onions in the first quarter (April-June 2016) against 3.39 lakh metric tonnes during the corresponding period of financial year 2015-16.

"The onion exports may touch 20 lakh tonnes in the current fiscal. The country had recorded highest export of 18.73 lakh metric tonnes during the financial year 2009-10," sources said.

The government decision to remove the MEP of onions in December 2015 has started showing results. In December 2015, the government had reduced the MEP of onions from USD 700 per tonne to zero to stabilise prices following bumper arrivals in the markets.

Nafed director Nanasaheb Patil said, "The Union government had removed MEP of onions in December to boost export and stabilise prices following rise in supply. There was no effect of the removal of MEP of onions till March, the decision has started showing its effects now. The availability of good quality onions and zero MEP led to rise in export in the first financial quarter."

"In 2009-10, the country had exported 18.73 lakh metric tonnes of onions, we are yet to cross this figure even after seven years. We could not touch even 15 lakh tonnes even in past three years. Continuous change in export policy by the Union government has led decline in onion export for the past three years," he said.

Patil added that there had been excess production of onions in the country this year that led to decline in wholesale prices. In fact, the government had the opportunity to increase onion sexport to stabilise prices in the wholesale market, this was not done.

"We had also urged the Union government to export onions through central agencies like Nafed and Small Farmers' Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC). Both these agencies could have exported 5 lakh metric tonnes each, the government did not take any decision," he rued.

Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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