No need for onion imports

For fresh fruit and vegetable marketing and distribution in Asia
Matthew Jones



No need for onion imports

Export association president doesn’t believe Chinese shipments will ease prices in the Indian market

No need for onion imports

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Indian Onion Exporters Association president Ajit Shah has questioned the logic of government measures to quell the country’s rising onion prices, according to The Economic Times.

Earlier this week, Indian agricultural minister Sharad Pawar said Chinese imports may be sought to help recover volumes lost during heavy rainfall around the key growing area of Maharashtra.The government has also floated the possibility of a temporary ban on onion exports, as the imposition of a higher minimum export price has not helped ease domestic prices.

However, Shah said both measures were too extreme, suggesting private traders would struggle to recoup 25 per cent of the cost value on imported onions once they arrived in the market.

“We have already burnt our fingers when we imported onions two months ago as domestic prices crashed by the time imported onions landed here,” Shah told The Economic Times. “This time too, domestic prices will come down by the time imported onions reach India.”

Onion prices have risen by 200 per cent in some wholesale markets around the country since June. At retail level, consumers are consistently paying over Rs60 (US$0.97) per kg, with prices peaking at Rs90 (US$1.46) per kg in major cities.

While Pawar said prices are likely to remain high for another three weeks, Danish Shah, managing partner of Sanghar Exports believed a reprieve would come sooner.

“In the next 10 days, prices are likely to come down by 50 per cent,” Shah said. “They are likely to be Rs 20 per kg to Rs 30 per kg in wholesale.”

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