Onion exports from India fell by around 23 per cent in the current fiscal year relative to the last as the country struggled to compete with lower priced product from China and Egypt.
According to a report in the Business Standard, India exported 1,037,978 tonnes of onion between April and December of last year. This was down on the 1,340,772 tonnes sold into foreign markets during the same time period in the previous year, according to statistics from Indian agri-cooperative Nafed.
An industry source told the Business Standard China and Egypt were dominating traditional Indian export markets by selling product at less than US$200 a tonne.
Currently the Minimum Export Price (MEP) for Indian garlic is US$250 per tonne.
"Since the price of onion in the international market is ruling at less than US$200 a tonne, Indian onion with a higher MEP of US$250 per tonne is attracting fewer buyers," Ajit Shah, President of Agriculture Export Association told the newspaper.
According to the report, 2011 provided a bumper crop for Indian garlic growers. With export volumes down the country is experiencing a glut in the domestic market and farmers are receiving lower prices.