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Anyone can export onions again after four decades

Mar 20, 2014

For close to four decades, export of onion could take place only through the agencies designated by the government. Now anyone can export onions, as the Central government freed export of the bulb by removing this condition last week.

Onion export was canalised in 1974. National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (Nafed) was the only canalising agency till 1999. Subsequently, 12 State Trading Enterprises (STEs) along with Nafed were designated as the canalising agencies for export of onion. The exporter had to pay 1% commission to these agencies in order to get the no-objection certificate for exports.

As the country is expecting an all-time-high onion crop in 2014-15, the government about to face the electorate, removed the minimum export price (MEP) restrictions, which were imposed during winter season as retail prices touched Rs 100/kg.

Last week, the director general of foreign trade (DGFT) issued a notification to free onion exports. There was a strong demand from growers and exporter to remove canalisation as it did not serve any purpose.

"The canalising agencies did not use the money collected from the exporters to better the condition of farmers," claimed Ajit Shah, president, Onion Exporters Association.

The 13 canalising agencies include NAFED, Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB), Spices Trading Corporation, AP State Trading Corporation. "Only five to six of the STEs were actually functioning," said Nafed Director HB Holkar.

MSAMB, which was a leading agency issuing no objection certificates to onion exporters has welcomed the decision. "Freeing up of onion exports will help boost onion exports. We never looked at the commission charged for the certificates as a source of revenue for us," said MSAMB Managing Director Milind Akre.

Exports would be crucial to avoid a crash in onion prices as the rabi harvest gathers pace from April. The current unseasonal rainfall, though has damaged the standing onion crop, will not affect the overall onion availability due to record area under the rabi crop. Despite the arrival of rain-damaged crop in the market, domestic prices have remained firm at Rs 6/kg to Rs 8/kg as the good quality bulb is getting a good price.

Source: Economic Times

Mahuva’s dehydrated onion market gains from growing domestic demand

Mar 20, 2014

Mahuva, home to almost 80% of onion dehydration units, finds itself catering more and more to domestic needs, as opposed to export demand. A surge of ready-to-eat and fast foods is expected to take domestic consumption from 25% of Mahuva's dehydrated product to a 100% very soon.

"In last two years, there has been a quantum jump in domestic demand for dehydrated onion. This is mainly due to the fast food culture," says Asgar Chattariya, secretary of the All India Dehydration Association. Additionally, multi-national companies that were once international procurers now buy locally at their India-based operations.

The growing demand at home is a blessing for the industry, as export market prices have dipped to $1,500-$1800 per tonne, against $2,000-$2200.

"Usually export market is risky and uncertain as there are other suppliers from countries like China and Egypt," said Chattariya. Home sales bring certainty. "In the domestic market, there is only one major local supplier - Mahuva."

The town produces 50,000 tonne dehydrated onion annually, with white onion getting precedence for exports. According to Chattariya, the past couple of years have seen 10,000 tonne to 12,000 tonne sold domestically.

Companies like Pepsi, Nestle, HUL, ITC, Balaji and masala maker Suhana purchase dehydrated white onion — which requires dedicated machinery and cannot be produced by the companies themselves, unlike ginger or garlic.

Jayntibhai Patel, owner of Darshan Food Pvt Ltd, says he has received orders from masala maker Suhana. "In last three years, they have increased their purchase from 40 tonne to 200 tonne annually," he added.

Mahuva's onion dehydration turnover is approximately Rs 500 crore annually, which includes mainly earnings from exports.

Dehydrated white onion products are exported in different forms as slices, kibbled, flakes, minced, chopped, ground, granules or power to Europe, North America and Russia. Onion harvesting and arrival starts from December; thus, dehydration units work only for three months, to a maximum of five months.

Mahuva has nearly 62 dehydration units and another five are under construction. The first dehydration plant was established in 1980, but as an industry, it only started growing gradually after 1984, though a maximum have come up in recent years.

Source: Economic Times

Govt frees up onion export

Mar 13, 2014

 The government on Wednesday allowed open export of all varieties of onions against the earlier practice of canalising them through State Trading Enterprises (STEs) to enable faster shipment of the commodity.

"Export of onion has been made free. Earlier, export of onion was permitted through STEs," the commerce department said in a notification issued.

Among the canalising agencies for export of onion are Nafed, Spices Trading Corporation, Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board, and AP State Trading Corporation, among others.

Earlier this month, the government had abolished the export floor price of onions as domestic prices dropped to Rs 6-7 a kg in the wholesale markets. The government had imposed minimum export prices (MEP) on onion in September 2013 and then it was raised several times to curb exports and boost domestic supplies as retail prices had shot up as high as Rs 100 a kg in major parts of the country. India had to even import onion to control price rise.

In 2012-13, the country had exported 1.82 million tonnes. India's annual onion production is estimated at 18.9 million tonnes in 2013-14, while in 2012-13 it was around 16.8 million tonnes.


'Removal of MEP will boost onion exports'

Mar 06, 2014

The stake holders on Wednesday welcomed the decision of the central government to remove the Minimum Export Price (MEP) on onions, saying that the move will help onion exports in the long run.

The central government on Tuesday removed restrictions on onion exports by scrapping the MEP of USD 150 a tonne.

Speaking to TOI, Changdeo Holkar, director of the National Agriculture Co-operative Marketing Federation of India said, "The area under the cultivation of summer crop has increased by 25% this year. Hence, the production is expected to be more this year and the pressure will reduce after June. While there will be no effect of the removal of the MEP by June-end, the move will help traders in the long run. The price trend is expected to be downward for the next three months. The removal of the MEP will definitely help boost export of onions. There should be no MEP on onions if we are expected to compete in the world market. The farmers also get benefits if export increases."

"At present, the onion export is low and production of summer onion is expected at large this year. The move will help stabilise the onion prices from declining. The government should have removed the MEP in November or December when the arrival of Kharif crop was in abundance. After all, its the removal will lead to free trade and help increase the export." Nandakumar Daga, president of the Lasalgaon Onion Traders' Association said

Speaking to TOI, R P Gupta, director of the National Horticulture Research Development Foundation said, "The average wholesale onion prices are in the range of Rs 700 to Rs 900 a quintal in the country and it is expected to remain in the same range for the next few days. The decision to remove the MEP is good, but it will help only in the long run."

The average wholesale onion prices at the largest onion market in the country, the Lasalgaon Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), were recorded at Rs 760 a quintal on Wednesday against Rs 750 on Tuesday.

The minimum and maximum prices were recorded at Rs 400 and Rs 825 a quintal, respectively. Around 16,000 quintals of onions were auctioned at Lasalgaon.

Source: timesofindia

Onion price rises 50% in 2 weeks

Feb 27, 2014

After falling to the level of cost of production, onion prices recovered to record a 50 per cent increase in the past two weeks, following controlled supply from farmers.

In the benchmark Lasalgaon (Maharashtra, near Nashik) market, Asia’s largest spot onion selling yard, it was Rs 8-10 a kg on Wednesday, a steady increase from Rs 5-5.50 a kg two weeks earlier. The model price announced by the Nashik-based National Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF) showed a little over 50 per cent increase in the price on February 15, to close at Rs 9.15 a kg on Tuesday from Rs 6 a kg two weeks earlier. The off-spot prices were Rs 3.50 a kg two weeks before, with farmers planning to dump on the road instead of selling in mandis.

“Total arrivals slumped to 322.5 tonnes when onion was ruling at Rs 6 a kg on February 15. But, with the increase in prices, arrivals also increased. On Tuesday, total arrivals recorded at 1,640 tonnes, with the price quoted at Rs 9.15 a kg. This indicates farmers have full control over supply,” said R P Gupta, director. NHRDF.

There is almost no export demand due to the short shelf life. The quality of the late kharif season crop (largely harvested and supplied to the market currently) is poor, compared to the rabi season crop which has a shelf life of 12 months. Hence, exporters are currently abstaining from booking in large quantity.

“The current price rise can be attributed only to controlled supply from farmers, as their holding capacity has increased. Both exporters and bulk consumers remained absent from the market,” said a senior official from one of the largest onion export houses.

India’s exports declined 33 per cent to 853,000 tonnes in the first eight months (April-November) of the current financial year. India exports onions to North Africa and West Asia, Sri Lanka and a number of Southeast Asian and neighbouring countries. In 2012-13, the country had exported 1.82 million tonnes. Our annual production is estimated at 13.15 mt, with 773,000 hectares as the area under cultivation. In 2012-13, production was 1.66 mt.


Inter-ministerial meeting decides no onion MEP for now

Feb 19, 2014

 The  inter-ministerial meeting held on Monday has decided to do away with the minimum export price for onion for the time being.
According to officials close to the development, it is likely that there will be no MEP for export of onion and the  export policy will be reviewed after watching the price situation for some time and arrival of the new harvest due in mid march.  However final minutes of the meeting is yet to be worked out  followed by the necessary notification.
While the ministry of agriculture  had suggested for complete removal of the MEP to facilitate easy exports, department of  consumer affairs have strongly opposed it stating that it will not only push up prices in the domestic market  but it may lead to unfair trade practices.
According to consumer affairs, one of the reasons for the abnormal hike in onion prices some time back was uneven distribution in the domestic market. Reports from states suggested that there has been large scale hoarding to export rather than supplying in the domestic market  as exports  were profitable, said an official source.
Therefore, according to the ministry, onion MEP need to be abolished for free choice to the farmer as to trade its produce in domestic or export market as per the profitability.
In December 2013,  the ministry of commerce reduced minimum export price (MEP) of onion to $150 a tonne from $350 for the third time  in a year  to boost exports  and check sharp fall in domestic prices.
In December itself, the government  had reduced the onion MEP to $800 a tonne from $1,150 a tonnes and just three days after that MEP was slashed to $350 a tonne.

 The government had imposed MEP on onion in September 2013 and then it was raised several times to curb exports and boost domestic supplies as retail prices had shot up as high as Rs 100 per kg in major parts of the country. The country had to even import onion to control price rise.
MEP reduction has helped in checking exports, which  as per reports, fell to  8.53 lakh tonnes (LT) during April-November period of this fiscal against 18.22 LT in the same period in 2012-13.
Currently, the  wholesale onion prices in Maharashtra are between Rs 8 a kg to Rs 10 while the retail prices are in the range of Rs 20 a kg to Rs 25.
Bangladesh is one of the prime buyers of Indian onions. Although Pakistan, Iran and Egypt are competing with India, the exports have increased substantially after the reduction in the minimum export price (MEP) to $150 a tonne.


Onion exports in Apr-Dec period rose by 59% to Rs 2,532 cr

Jan 23, 2014

Onion exports in value terms during April-December period of 2013-14 have risen by 59% to Rs 2,532 crore on account of higher export price fixed by the government.

Exports during the same period in 2012-13 fiscal stood at Rs 1,590.79 crore, according to National Horticultural Research Development Foundation (NHRDF) data.

In the entire 2012-13 discal, the country had exported onions worth Rs 2,294.90 crore.

During April-December period of 2013-14, in quantity terms onion exports declined by 30% to 9.87 lakh tonnes as compared with 14.04 lakh tonnes in the corresponding period of previous financial year.

India exported 18.22 lakh tonnes of onions in the entire 2012-13 fiscal.

The government imposed MEP on onion in September and then it was raised several times to curb exports and boost domestic supplies as retail prices had shot up as high as Rs 100 per kg in major parts of the country. The country had to even import onion to control price rise.

On December 26, onion MEP, which is the benchmark price below which the commodity cannot be exported, was reduced to $150 a tonne from $350 a tonne.

Before that, MEP was reduced to $350 per tonne from $800 a tonne on December 19, while it was cut to $800 a tonne from $1,150 on December 16.

With improved domestic supplies and fall in wholesale rates, the Centre has now reduced the MEP sharply to boost exports and stabilise the domestic prices. Wholesale rates in Lasalgaon mandi in Nashik have risen to Rs 11.25 per kg from around Rs 10 per kg last month.


Onion exports have increased after reduction in the MEP to $150 a tonne

Jan 15, 2014

Robust exports and good domestic demand have kept the onion prices firm despite heavy arrivals. However, fear of a fall in onion prices is still there due to an expected bumper production of the bulb.

The wholesale onion prices in Maharashtra are between Rs 8 a kg to Rs 10 while the retail prices are in the range of Rs 20 a kg to Rs 25.

 Bangladesh is one of the prime buyers of Indian onions. "Currently, there is very good demand for Indian onions from Bangladesh. A rake full of onions is going to Kolkata every alternate day from Nashik district," said CB Holkar, director, National Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Federation ( Nafed).

China's onion export has slowed down recently, making India the largest onion exporter in Asia at the moment. Although Pakistan, Iran and Egypt are competing with India, the exports have increased substantially after the reduction in the minimum export price (MEP) to $150 a tonne. "Our onions are being exported everywhere in the world. We are currently leading in onion exports. The demand from the Middle East will be less next week due to Muslim festival. However, it will pick up again after a week," said Ajit Shah, president, Onion Exporters Association.

Along with exports, good demand from the domestic market has given support to the farmer-level prices, which are firm between Rs 9 a kg to Rs 11. "The late kharif crop is coming from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka, supplying to the rest of the country," said RP Gupta, director, National Horticulture Research and Development Federation (NHRDF).

Due to favourable weather and an increase in area, the late kharif crop is expected to be good. Although the prices are firm for now, traders expect them to come down by Rs 2-Rs 3 a kg in the next two to three weeks as arrivals will increase. "Removing the MEP completely will be useful for preventing further price fall," said Holkar.

Source: Economic Times

Onion exports double to 1.33 lakh tonnes in December on MEP cut

Jan 08, 2014

Onion exports have more than doubled during December at over 1.33 lakh tonnes compared with the previous month after government lowered the minimum export price (MEP).

Exports of onions stood at 66,236 tonnes during November, 2013, according to data compiled by the National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF).

During last month, the government had slashed onion MEP thrice in order to boost exports and check the sliding domestic prices of edible bulb that led to farmers protest in producing states.

On December 26, onion MEP, which is the benchmark price below which the commodity cannot be exported, was reduced to $150 a tonne from $350 a tonne.

Before that, MEP was reduced to $350 per tonne from $800 a tonne on December 19, while it was cut to $800 a tonne from $1,150 on December 16.

As per NHRDF data, onion exports jumped more than two-fold to 1,33,290 tonnes in December as against 66,236 tonnes in the previous month. However, exports were lower than December, 2012 that saw shipments of 1,37,956 tonnes.

During April-December period of 2013-14, onion exports have declined by 30 per cent to 9.87 lakh tonnes as compared with 14.04 lakh tonnes in the corresponding period of previous financial year.

India exported 18.22 lakh tonnes of onions in the entire fiscal year 2012-13 (FY13).

The government had imposed MEP on onion in September and then it was raised several times to curb exports and boost domestic supplies as retail prices had shot up as high as Rs. 100 per kg in major parts of the country.

India had to even import onion to control price rise. With improved domestic supplies and crash in wholesale rates, the Centre has now reduced the MEP sharply to boost exports and stabilise the domestic prices.

Wholesale rates in Lasalgaon Nashik's vegetable market have risen to Rs. 11.25 per kg from around Rs. 10 per kg last month.


Sharad Pawar promises to ease onion export

Dec 26, 2013

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said that in view of the high production of onion in the district this season, he would make efforts to make the global market accessible for the local farmers.

Speaking at a function at Manmad, Pawar also said that he would take up other issues of local farmers with the concerned officials and his cabinet colleagues in Delhi.

Source: Economic Times

Govt reduces minimum export price of onion

Dec 17, 2013

The government reduced minimum export price of onion by $350 a tonne to push exports.

The price was revised on Monday — at $800 per tonne amid reports of crashing onion prices at major mandis.

Though it is expected to bring some relief experts doubt whether it will be of great help considering the prevailing global prices.

They said fixing the price at $600 could have helped exporters to get buyers.

Source: timesofindia

Post onion price rise, country's farm data-gathering system to get a facelift

Nov 25, 2013

A government committee has called for a complete overhaul of India's farm data-gathering system to ensure a better understanding of production and prices to allow policymakers to make effective and timely interventions, a suggestion that assumes significance in the light of onion prices shooting up recently.

The panel headed by former Planning Commission member YK Alagh, which was set up by the government to review issues relating to agriculture statistics, has proposed periodic collection of data on subsidies given to farmers, besides figures on export and import of food grain.

The recommendations also come as the government is grappling with a sudden spurt in prices of some vegetables and commodities despite a good monsoon. The rise in onion prices has been used by the Opposition parties as a political weapon.

With general elections around the corner, the government is wary about food inflation.

"Data on retail prices of essential commodities is received with a time lag of about five to six weeks and the response rate is just about 60%," the panel said in its report.

This forces revisions as more information comes in. For example, wholesale price index-based inflation for August had to be substantially revised to 6.99% from 6.1% reported earlier with onion and tomato inflation in triple digits. The Alagh panel report flags constraints in wholesale and retail inflation data collection, mainly due to the inadequate responses to queries, lack of coordination between state agencies and poor supervision of price collation, quality of data collection and policymaking.

The committee has recommended that markets should be connected to a network so that price data can be recorded, processed and disseminated in real time.

Poor data quality has hamstrung India's policymakers as they are forced to use the numbers to determine key responses. For instance, the Reserve Bank of India uses inflation data to set the interest rates.

The committee has also pitched for periodic subsidy data collection and annual estimation of aggregate subsidies in line with World Trade Organisation norms. The central government's total subsidy outgo has gone up about 400% between 2003-04 and 2012-13.

"Total subsidy data should be collected on a periodical basis. Estimates on aggregate measurement support need to be made on an annual basis," the report said.

The recommendation comes at a time when disclosure norms will become stringent as India is likely to sign WTO's four-year "peace clause" at the ninth ministerial in Bali. The clause will provide India legal protection against disputes over exceeding subsidy limits.

With regard to trade, the committee has highlighted statistical gaps in data reporting and recommended the setting up of a panel to look into it. For instance, trade through e-commerce does not get captured by the current Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics system. Data on re-exports is not available. Among services, data on transportation, health and education exports is unavailable.

Source: The Economic Times

Govt hikes onion minimum export price to $1,150/tonne to check prices

Nov 05, 2013

The Centre has hiked the minimum export price of (MEP) of onions to USD 1,150 per tonne for boosting domestic supplies and controlling prices which have been ruling at very high levels for about three months.

On September 19, the government had raised the MEP to USD 900 per tonne, from USD 650 per tonne imposed on August 14. Onions can't be exported below the MEP.

This is the third hike in recent months aimed at discouraging exports. Although export volumes have come down, the domestic retail prices still remain at unaffordable level of Rs 60-70 per kilo in most parts of the country.

"Export of all varieties of onions...will be subject to a MEP of USD 1,150 per tonne," Director General of Foreign Trade ( DGFT) said in a notification.

Traders said however that the latest MEP hike may only create some "psychological impact" because overseas shipments, in any case, are not happening as market players are getting better rates in the domestic market.

Onion exports in August had come down substantially to 29,000 tonne after a minimum floor price was imposed on shipping them in the overseas markets.

The government has been keeping a close watch on the price situation and has taken several measures to improve supplies including more imports.

The Centre has also directed all state governments to crack down on hoarders and speculators who are keeping onion prices artificially high.

There is short supply of onions as much of the stored crop from last year exhausted. New crop from South India is yet to arrive in huge quantities in consuming states.

Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat are some of the main onion producing states.

Source: The Economic Times

Onion export floor price may see 40% rise

Sep 19, 2013

The Union government is expected to fix a higher Minimum Export Price (MEP) for onions. A committee of officials is believed to have suggested $900 a tonne, almost $250 more than the current MEP, to curb its outflow.

The final call on export prices will be taken by the commerce minister, sources said. The meeting also decided to direct states to take action against traders who create an artificial shortage, a senior official said. A formal order is expected in a  few days.

He said around 10,000 tonnes of onions had been exported this financial year, till September. It should stop with the new MEP.

The meeting had officials from the commerce, agriculture, consumer affairs and finance ministries.

Wholesale and retail onion prices in much of the country have increased sharply since July. In this city, retail prices are as high as Rs 80 a kg, compared with Rs 22 a kg a year before. Maharashtra, the largest producer and with the biggest stock, has been asked to ensure steady supplies to consuming states, the official said.

The state government has been asked to intimate the Centre if there are any bottlenecks in the supply chain.

Delhi's food and supplies minister, Haroon Yusuf, accused the Madhya Pradesh government on Wednesday of not taking action against hoarders in the state "with a purpose". MP is ruled by the rival Bharatiya Janata Party; Delhi’s is a Congress government. The retail price in the city had gone down to Rs  55 a kg recently but has since risen again, to Rs  80 a kg.The minister said the Delhi government had again started selling the vegetable at Rs  60 a kg, at 1,000 points across the city through vans.


With onion at Rs 70 a kg, export floor price may be raised to $1,000 a tonne

Sep 18, 2013

With the retail price of onion increasing by Rs 10-20 a kg in a few days, the government is likely to raise the minimum export price (MEP) to $1,000 a tonne from the current $650 a tonne.

However, the government might not immediately put a blanket ban on exports, as that would have a direct impact on the growers.

“After the MEP was re-imposed at $650 a tonne last month, there has been a slowdown in exports but it has not entirely stopped. Therefore, we may hike the MEP further,  which would make exports difficult,” said a senior government official.

He added a final decision is expected over the next few days. “Our assessment shows that even after the MEP was hiked around 600-700 tonnes of onions were exported daily, which will stop once MEP is raised further to $1,000 a tonne as then onion priced only above Rs 65 a kg in the wholesale markets can be exported,” the official explained.

He said a meeting under the chairmanship of the cabinet secretary could be held in the next few days to further assess the price situation.

The wholesale and retail prices of onion rose by Rs 10 a kg  here on Tuesday as supplies from Maharashtra and Rajasthan tapered, while arrivals from the southern states are not in full swing due to rains there.

In Delhi’s Azadpur market, the wholesale price rose to Rs 60 a kg on Tuesday from Rs 50 a kg on Monday. The price rise is reflected in retail markets with vendors charging as high as Rs 70 a kg on Tuesday, compared with Rs 55-60 a kg a few days ago.

Prices have shot up in other parts of the country, too. Prices had shown some signs of stabilisation around early September after the government re-imposed the export tax and canalised all exports through the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Fedration of India Limited.

In a related development, Food Minister K V Thomas has expressed the hope that onion prices would soften by early next month. He added the Centre has asked producing states such as Maharashtra to crack down on hoarders of onion, a politically sensitive commodity.

According to the minister, apart from high onion prices, the slight increase in food inflation in August was due to the increase in the minimum support prices of major farm items by the government.


Assam to go on a mission mode in cultivation of onion

Sep 10, 2013

Assam to go on a mission mode to increase the area under Onion cultivation in the state.

Assam Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi on Monday asked the agriculture department to increase the production of onion in the State.

Officials of the department apprised the Chief Minister that Assam has been selected as one of the six States by Government of India to increase the production of onion and that the department has taken up a new initiative, CM's Onion Mission for 2013-14.

Assam has around 8525 hectares under onion producing 30.90 metric tonnes (MT). Majority of the requirement is sourced from outside the region.

The all India average for production of onion per hectare is 16.79 MT while that of Assam is 3.62 MT per hectare. Northeast India on an average requires 100 truck loads (20 tonne each truck) of onion in a week.

Gogoi reviewed the progress of activities of Agriculture department at a meeting with concerned minister and senior officials.

The Chief Minister said there is need for increasing the areas under double/multiple cropping and cropping intensity and to go in for farm mechanisation in a big way to boost production. "We have to bring more and more areas under mechanised farming. Government will raise the subsidy from 50 to 75 per cent to meet the farmers' requirements of tractors, power tillers and other equipment".

Gogoi asked the department to revive the Agriculture Farming Corporation (AFC). The Chief Minister directed the department to submit detailed project report for revival of 11 units of AFC.

Source: economictimes

Technique for Kharif onion bulb production

Jul 04, 2013

For successfull Kharif onion nursery production, during heavy rains the National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation, Nashik has developed a technology for Kharif onion production through bulblets.


Bulblets raised from varieties like Agrifound Dark Red, Baswant-780, N-53 and Arka Kalyan during summer season are used for planting. The width of nursery bed should be 0.60 metre and length can be at 3-4 metres as per convenience.

Surface of beds should be smooth and well levelled. The bulblets should be treated with thiram at 2 gm/kg of seed for control of damping off disease.

The nursery should also be treated with thiram or captan at 4-5 g/sq. mt. area. Nursery bed should be irrigated at 15-20 days before sowing and covered with 250 gauge transparent polythene for soil solarization.

Bulblets are sown on raised beds or in flat beds depending upon the soil by following the broadcasting method. Best time of planting the bulblets is first fortnight of January to early February depending upon the weather condition of the area. Planting on raised beds or on both sides of ridges in BBF (Broad Band Furrow) system is recommended for better bulb development and yield. Best time of planting July-August in Maharashtra and August in northern parts of country. Planting of oversize bulblets reduces the quality of produce.

Dipping the bulblets in fungicide carbendazin at 0.1 per cent and insecticide monocrotophos at 0.1 per cent solution before planting helps in better establishment of bulblets.


Planting should be done at 10 cm from line to line and 10 cm from plant to plant that is, 10 x 10 cm spacing is recommended.

About 100 kg N, 50 kg P and 50 kg K is required for one hectare. Use of stomp at 3.5 lit/ha or goal at 0.15 kg /ha applied 3 days after sprouting of bulbs in field plus one hand weeding at 35-40 days give better results. Spraying cytozyme at 0.2 per cent at 15 and 45 days after planting was found effective.

(R. K. Singh, Assistant Director, email: Mobile: 09881303443 and R.P. Gupta, Director, mobile: 09850880668, NHRDF, Chitegaon Phata, Post-Darna Sangavi, Nashik, 422 003, Maharashtra.)


Bengal plans to raise onion output

May 20, 2013

Availability of locally produced onions in West Bengal is set to improve starting this year.

The State Government is planning to supply seeds at subsidised rates to farmers to grow onions in the kharif season (June-end October).

The State currently produces onions only during the rabi season (mid November to April).

According to Pijush Kanti Pramanick, Director of State Horticulture Department, the improvement in availability of locally produced onions will also bring down prices.

West Bengal produces nearly 3.04 lakh tonnes onions during the rabi season. The estimated demand is pegged at around 3.33 lakh tonnes. The shortfall of close to 29,000 tonnes is currently met through imports from Maharashtra and Karnataka.

“Once we start producing the kharif onions, our overall production will improve and in the next three-to-four years, we will turn self-sufficient to meet our demand,” Pramanick told Business Line. The State Government has already identified some farmers in the districts of Bankura, Purulia, West Midnapore, Birbhum, Murshidabad, Nadia, North 24 Parganas and Hughli for growing onions. “We plan to bring close to 600 hectares of land under onion cultivation during this kharif season. Nearly 15-17 tonnes of onion can be produced on a hectare,” he said. The rabi onions start coming into the market around February-March and is available till end of August.

Once the stock of locally produced rabi onions gets deplete, post-August, onions from other States start flooding the local markets, thereby, pushing up prices, he pointed out.

Pilot Project


The State Horticulture Department in association with the National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF) had launched a pilot project about two years back to look into the possibility of cultivation of kharif onions.

“We looked at the adaptability of onions grown in Nashik and other parts of Maharashtra, in West Bengal. The pilot project was successful, so we decided to go on a massive drive to grow onions during kharif season,” he said. The State Government would be procuring the seeds developed by NHRDF Nashik, which are most suitable for Bengal, and supply it to the farmers at subsidised rates, he said.


Onion likely to rule at Rs 800 a quintal till month-end

May 06, 2013

Onion prices are likely rule stable around current level of Rs 800 a quintal at least until the end of this month with supply likely to match demand.

“Currently, quality onion commands Rs 850-900 a quintal, while the fair average quality is quoting around Rs 800,” said a trader over phone from Nashik.

At the Lasalgaon Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) yard, the modal price or the rate at which most trades took place was Rs 811 a quintal with nearly 1,600 tonnes arriving.

“Some farmers are bringing their produce to the market as the current price is good, while some are holding back expecting a rise,” said R.P. Gupta, Director of National Horticulture Research and Development Foundation.

During the same time last year, prices were lower than Rs 400.

“Farmers are happy with Rs 800 a quintal now. Very rarely do prices rule at this level during peak arrival of the rabi crop,” Gupta said.

While a section of the trade said that arrivals were of average quality, another section said that good quality onions were arriving in markets.

Gupta said though the area under rabi onion was 20 per cent lower this year, higher productivity has made up for the loss.

“Productivity is some 15-20 per cent higher this year,” he said.

A long winter, good sunshine and no rains around the time when the crop was maturing have all led to higher yield this year.

Exports, on the other hand, are also good with demand continuing for West Asian countries.


Onion auctions resume after a week, prices up 10%

Apr 03, 2013

The wholesale onion markets in the district resumed auctions from Tuesday after a week's gap, with prices going up by nearly 10.52% as compared to last week.

The onion auction in Lasalgaon and Pimpalgaon agriculture produce market committees (APMCs), the main onion markets in the district, were closed from March 27 to April 1 as traders had to complete their financial accounts for fiscal year 2012-13.

The average wholesale onion prices in the district APMCs, which had been in the range of Rs 901 to Rs 951 a quintal on March 25, were in the range of Rs 951 to Rs 1,051 a quintal on Tuesday.

Average prices increased by Rs 50 and Rs 100 per quintal in Pimpalgaon and Lasalgaon APMCs respectively, as the supply was lower as compared to demand, market sources told TOI. The prices are likely to increase by around 25% in the next three-four weeks, the sources said.

They said that supply of onion to the markets has fallen slightly as farmers are storing the crop instead of bringing it to the market. The crop arriving in the district APMCs is the summer crop, which is harvested during April and May. The shelf life of the summer crop is six to seven months and hence, farmers have started storing it, hoping to get better prices later.

The average wholesale prices in Lasalgaon APMC, which is the largest onion market in the country, were recorded at Rs 1,051 a quintal on Tuesday. The minimum and maximum rates were recorded at Rs 700 and Rs 1,176 a quintal respectively. Around 15,000 quintals of onions were auctioned at the market. In Pimpalgaon APMC, the average wholesale prices were recorded at Rs 951 a quintal on Tuesday. The minimum and maximum rates were recorded at Rs 670 and 1,125 a quintal respectively. Around 12,000 quintals of onions were auctioned at the APMC.

Source: timesofindia

Pakistan: Traders begin importing onion from India to offset shortage

Apr 02, 2013

Pakistani importers are reported to have started to import onion from India to offset a shortage because of the gap in domestic production, sources told this correspondent on Monday. They said that as many as 300 containers had reached Karachi, while import orders had been placed for 500-600 more containers to meet the local demand.

The massive import, sources said, was the result of the gap in crop harvests of Sindh and Balochistan. According to market sources, local onion was being sold at a higher rate, ranging between Rs 1,800 and Rs 1900 per 40 kilograms, against the imported variety, which was of better quality, which was being sold at Rs 1,900-Rs 2,000 per 40 kilograms. Sources claimed that if they had not started importing onion, its price would have jumped to an unaffordable level.

The gap between harvesting onions in the two provinces was between 30 and 40 days. Stressing the need for an alternative mechanism to cope with this huge gap in harvest times, sources said that that the country was devoid of a proper storage facility. They said that there was need to make arrangements for prolonging storage of onion, adding that if there were proper facilities, there would hardly be any need for imports.

Onion production in Sindh, lasting between October and March, not only caters to the overall domestic demand but also kept the commodity's prices at a stable and affordable level. The import from India would continue till March-April when the Balochistan crop would be available for domestic consumption.

Talking to Business Recorder, Waheed Ahmed, the Chairman of All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) said that to meet the gap between harvests of onion crops, the country should ensure storage facilities, adding that the government should also encourage production of various varieties of onions. He said that the quality of local onion was fast deteriorating, which was forcing consumers and traders to opt for better quality imported varities. He urged the government to reduce existing duties on imports of agricultural products to provide people with kitchen items at affordable prices. According to him, bananas were also being imported from India on a massive scale.


No proposal to ban onion exports: Government

Feb 25, 2013

The government today said there is no proposal to ban export of onion and its prices in the domestic market are showing a declining trend.

"There is no proposal to ban export of onion," Minister of State for Agriculture Tariq Anwar said in a written reply to the Rajaya Sabha.

The untimely rains in different onion growing areas, which has affected the crop and its supply chain, has contributed to sharp increase in its prices, he said.

A sharp increase in onion prices was seen during three months till January, he added.

However, there has been a declining trend in onion prices since the beginning of the current month.

The wholesale prices have dropped to Rs 16/kg today in Nasik, Maharashtra, from Rs 25/kg in the beginning of the month, as per the data maintained by government research body NHRDF.

Similarly in the national capital, wholesale prices have declined from Rs 25/kg to Rs 17.50/kg in the review period.

Prices of vegetables such as onion are governed by market forces of demand and supply, cost of transportation, cost of storage and rising demand among others, Anwar said.

Due to tight supply, onion exports have shown a declining trend since November, 2012. The shipments fell by over 40 per cent to 83,044 tonnes in January, as against 1,47,255 tonnes in the year-ago period, according to the NHRDF data.

According to the Nasik-based National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF), the area under onion crop is down by 10 per cent from 10.87 lakh hectares this year. But the overall production is expected to be the same at last year's level of 174 lakh tonnes.

Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat are the top three onion growing states which have suffered drought.

Source: The Economic Times

A new onion variety that brings tears of joy

Aug 30, 2012

Seventeen years of painstaking effort in developing and maintaining a new onion variety by a small farmer, Balwan Singh from Haryana, bore fruit when the National Innovation Foundation – India (NIF) under the leadership of Prof Anil Gupta recognised this variety at the national level. NIF honoured the farmer in its sixth biennial award ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi recently.

This onion variety named “Balwan Pyaj” has a longer shelf life as compared to other commercial varieties due to its tightly adhered bulb skin.

The variety’s yield per hectare is over 30 tonnes, and is believed to be resistant to pests and diseases occurring in onion. Its dark red coloured globular shaped bulbs with about 50-60 gm weight, appear more attractive than common ones with firm, bright red coloured, bulbs yielding about 20 tonnes per hectare. That is the new variety developed by the farmers yields nearly 50 tonnes.

Many years back Mr. Balwan Singh brought some onions from a neighbouring village. He observed the bulbs to be large in size, red in colour, and the skin to be tight.

Being an experienced farmer, he knew that good quality plants yield good fruits bulbs hence he started grading and breeding this particular onion through selection, considering parameters such as the plant health, tightly adhered bulb skin, size and well shaped red coloured bulbs. Year after year, he repeated the same process to purify the variety and stabilise its characteristics. After many years of perseverance he could finally develop this variety.

The family also maintained the year wise performance data for the crop, which exhibited good performance. “It is just persistence that kept him going. He did not do it for honours or recognition,” says Prof Gupta about the entire process.

NIF facilitated that the testing of variety at the Vegetable Research Farm, Department of Vegetable Science, Choudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, Haryana during 2010-11. According to the results, the onion variety showed significantly higher yield (of more than 30 tonnes/ha), bulb weight and bulb diameter, than existing variety named Hisar-2.

Other features, which distinguish this variety, are dark green colour of foliage, good thickness of rings, a predominant axis and symmetrical cross section.

The farmer has distributed the seed of his variety to about a thousand farmers of Haryana and around. He specially recognises the support of scientists of the Haryana Agriculture University who guided him from time to time, and helped him with technological updates.

NIF also provided him an opportunity to display his variety at the Innovations’ Exhibition at the President House in 2011.

He has been participating in different agricultural exhibitions of agricultural products and winning prizes as well. His work has been covered in local as well as national media.

“There are hundreds of brilliant solutions to tackle everyday problems in many villages. What we need is an honest effort to look out for them and then the patience to try them. In fact many of these solutions are simpler and more effective than those provided by formal science. In some cases such grassroots solutions even extend the frontiers of science,” says Mr. Gupta.

The foundation has been systematically documenting several hundreds of innovations from different parts of rural India and providing the innovators with a platform to present their findings. Many of these grassroots developments though appearing to be simple can be easily replicated and used by others.


Govt completely liberalises onion exports

Jul 06, 2012

The government on Friday completely liberalised onion exports, allowing shipments without the bar of a minimum export price, a move which would further boost exports of the vegetable.
Earlier, onion exports were allowed without Minimum Export Price (MEP) till July 2. "Export of onions is allowed without any MEP," a notification by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said here. According to experts, the decision would help in protecting farmers' interest. India's onion exports rose by 15 percent in last fiscal at 15.48 lakh tonnes against 13.40 lakh tonnes in the previous year on higher production, which increased to 157.48 lakh tonnes from 151.17 lakh tonnes. Onion prices are currently ruling about Rs 15 per kg in the retail markets.

Source: zeenews

First onion special train starts its pilot journey

Jul 06, 2012

The first onion special train carrying only onions left Kherwadi station in Nashik district on Monday to reach Chitpur in West Bengal. The train, an initiative of National Horticulture Board and Container Corporation of India, set on its maiden journey as a pilot project. The train contains 90 container boogies and each container has a capacity to carry 17 tons of onions. As such in its pilot run the train from Kherwadi carried 1530 tons of onion to West Bengal. Kherwadi railway station is situated in Niphad taluka, where most of the onion in the region grows. Onion farmers from Niphad, Pimpalgaon Baswant, Lasalgaon,and other places loaded their produce on the train. The train initiative is taken by the central government so that onion farmers get fair price for their crop and it is transported in minimum time. The closed containers will also protect the onion from rains. Container Corporation of India will pay Indian Railways Rs25,000 plus service tax for the services provided. The train will prove beneficial for the onion farmers, it is hoped. After its trial run, amendments if any will be made after due discussion with the farmers, traders and railway officials.


Govt removes limits over onion exports

Jul 02, 2012

The government on Friday completely liberalised onion exports, allowing shipments without the bar of a minimum export price, a move which would further boost exports of the vegetable.
Earlier, onion exports were allowed without Minimum Export Price (MEP) till July 2. "Export of onions is allowed without any MEP," a notification by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said here. According to experts, the decision would help in protecting farmers' interest. India's onion exports rose by 15 per cent in last fiscal at 15.48 lakh tonnes against 13.40 lakh tonnes in the previous year on higher production, which increased to 157.48 lakh tonnes from 151.17 lakh tonnes.
Onion prices are currently ruling about Rs 15 per kg in the retail markets.

Source: businesstoday

Onion up a tad on hopes demand will rise

Feb 13, 2012

Onion prices improved marginally this week on hopes of recovery in demand but the market sentiment remained negative. “Arrivals since Wednesday in various Maharashtra markets totalled 33,000 tonnes and arrivals were a little higher in Nashik district. At Lasalgaon Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) yard, over 5,000 tonnes arrived since Wednesday. The expected demand has not materialised,” said Mr Rupesh Jaju, Director of Nashik-based United Pacific Agro Ltd that exports onion. On the higher side, the average price was Rs 487 a quintal, while on the lower side it was Rs 212 a quintal. The average realisation was Rs 391 a quintal. At Lasalgaon APMC, the modal price or the rate at which most trades took place was Rs 350 a quintal, up from Rs 325 a week ago.     

Onion export floor price cut

Feb 09, 2012

The Government has cut the minimum export price of common grade onions by $25 a tonne to $125, a trade official said on Wednesday. The Empowered Group of Ministers on Food, which met on Tuesday, had taken up the matter but no announcement was made on the decision to cut the minimum export price. “We have got verbal communication on the cut,” said a Nashik-based trader. On January 11, the Centre had cut the minimum export price of the vegetable by a substantial $100 a tonne to $150.     

Special lab to be set up in Nashik to aid onion production

Feb 09, 2012

A special laboratory has been set up at Chitegaon near here by the National Horticulture Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF) with the help of ISRO's Ahmedabad centre to aid the onion-crop-sector. The geoinformatics lab has been set up in NHRDF's research complex and was yesterday opened by ISRO's Deputy Director J S Parihar. The lab will help in onion production in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka states via calculations through satellite to develop the onion crop, colour of the product and conduct various tests.     

Onion exports pick up after MEP cut, growers want it at zero

Feb 06, 2012

Lowering of the minimum export price for onions to USD 150 a tonne recently has marginally increased India's outbound shipments of the kitchen staple, but traders feel the government should do away with the MEP completely to help the country hold sway in global markets. "Reduction of export price to USD 150 per tonne has made Indian bulb competitive in the international market. Onion export from India has increased by about 10 per cent after this," Agriculture Export Association, Mumbai, President Ajit Shah said. He said exports would further gain momentum when the markets of China and Singapore open after closure for the New Year.     

Onion plunges as arrivals continue unabated

Jan 16, 2012

Onion prices plunged further this week as arrivals continued to swamp markets around growing areas in Maharashtra and Gujarat. The drop is despite the Centre cutting the minimum export price (MEP) of onion to $150 a tonne on Wednesday from $250 fixed on November 28. “Arrivals are flooding all Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) yards in Maharashtra. In the last three days, 40,000 tonnes of onions have arrived,” said Mr Rupesh Jaju, Director of Nashik-based United Pacific Agro Pvt Ltd. While quality onions fetched Rs 470 a quintal on an average, inferior ones fetched Rs 178. The modal price or the rate at which most trades took place was Rs 355. In Pune APMC, the modal price was Rs 375.     

Cut in onion MEP to boost exports, raise local prices

Jan 12, 2012

With the average wholesale onion price crashing to Rs 3 per kg across most markets in the country, the Union government's decision to reduce the minimum export price (MEP) by $100 per tonne is expected to bring some relief to the onion farmer. A lower bar on the export price boosts shipments, sucks out excess production and improves local prices. The government cut the MEP for big onions from $250 per tonne to $150 per tonne while for the south variety, the MEP has been brought down from $300 per tonne to $250 per tonne. Onion growers were demanding a reduction in MEP for the past one month. "A reduction in MEP would help increase exports. The country has already exported 95,000 tonne in December," said RP Gupta, director, National Horticulture Research and Development Federation. With the harvesting of the later kharif crop having begun, supplies have increased substantially across all the markets.     

Onion auctions take a hit in Nashik APMCs

Jan 10, 2012

Onion auctions at 15 Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs), including Lasalgaon and Pimpalgaon Baswant here came to a halt on Monday following boycott on onion-purchase by traders, protesting notices by the district administration to pay levy dues of Rs 8.5 crore. Sohanlal Bhandari, president of Nashik District Onion Traders Association, said that the boycott on purchase of onions is for a indefinite period, beginning on Monday. The levy issue between 'mathadi' workers and traders is quite old and is presently sub judice, he said. Two days back, the Nashik District Collector P Velrasu had issued notices to the onion traders asking them to pay the levy dues to mathadi workers, which run into Rs 8.5 crore.     

Bumper onion harvest fails to cheer farmers

Jan 09, 2012

With Nashik reporting bumper onion production in the karif season, the wholesale price of the key vegetable has hit a new low. A fall in onion exports due to higher minimum export price (MEP) and sluggish domestic demand, have kept the price low. A Nashik-based trader told FE that prices have crashed from R500 a quintal just two weeks ago to a low of R300-350 a quintal at present. Due to higher MEP compared with global competitors like Pakistan and China, Indian farmers are losing their share in exports market fast, leading to a higher domestic supply. Onion exports in the current financial year had been to the tune of 9 lakh tonnes, which is 3.5 lakh tonnes less than exports in the same period last year. A short ban on exports in September 2011 and higher MEP were reasons attributed for decline in onion exports.     

Limited export buying amid arrivals drags onion

Jan 02, 2012

Heavy arrivals, particularly of late kharif crop, continued to pound onion in markets around growing regions in Maharashtra and Gujarat this week. “Arrivals have been huge in the last 3-4 days of the late kharif. Some 34,000 tonnes have arrived and of this, 10,000 tonnes flooded the Solapur agricultural produce marketing committee (APMC) yard,” said Mr Rupesh Jaju, Director of Nashik-based United Pacific Agro Pvt Ltd. Onion prices ruled between Rs 300 and Rs 550 a quintal. “Most trades took place around Rs 350-400,” said Mr Jaju. In Pune APMC, arrivals have averaged over 1,500 tonnes since Tuesday, leading to the modal price or the rate at which most trades took place dropping to Rs 525 a quintal. Last week, prices ruled at Rs 600.     

Centre mulls setting up onion development fund?

Dec 22, 2011

Nashik member of parliament Sameer Bhujbal in a statement said that the union consumer and food minister KV Thomas has indicated to set up an 'onion development fund' on the lines of the sugar development fund. Mr Bhujbal also claimed that union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar has said that the state government should start procurement of onions. "Mr Pawar said that the state government can get 50% of the price it has paid to the farmers from the centre under the market interventions scheme," said the release from Mr Bhujbal. He also said that he has conveyed this to Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.     

Onions tumble on good harvest, leftover stock

Dec 21, 2011

It's December again and onion is making headlines. While governments intervened in markets last December to protect consumers from high onion prices, now governments are trying to save farmers from low prices amid a glut in output. In Maharashtra, the biggest grower, prices have crashed below Rs 5/kg for the first time in four years. Retail prices had touched Rs 100/kg last December, forcing the government to cool down prices by discouraging exports throughout the year. As a result, the stored onion, which should have otherwise been sold by November, is lying unsold while a huge volume of newly harvested onion is entering the markets everyday.     

Agri min seeks further cut in export floor price of onions

Dec 20, 2011

The agriculture ministry has sought a further cut in the minimum export price (MEP) of onions, citing plummeting prices of the commodity due to a bumper harvest. The proposition, seeking a cut to $200 per tonne from $250 per tonne, has been forwarded to the commerce ministry. Sources told FE that the move would allow players to export more of the commodity as prices have gone down significantly at Nasik, the hub of the country’s onion trade. Just last month, the government had reduced the MEP for the commodity to $250 per tonne from $350 per tonne to ensure better price realisation. For the year till October, eight lakh tonne of the commodity has been exported against the figure of 3.5 lakh tonnes during the same period in the previous year. The decline has been attributed to a short ban on exports in September and high MEP.     

Onion crashes on heavy arrivals

Dec 12, 2011

Attempts by growers to dispose of their old crop and flooding arrivals pounded onion prices in markets around growing centres, particularly in Maharashtra and Gujarat, this week. “The old crop that was held back cannot be stored any more. Therefore, farmers were trying to clear old stocks leading to huge arrivals. That resulted in prices crashing,” said Mr Rupesh Jaju, Director of Nashik-based United Pacific Agro Pvt Ltd that exports onions. “Farmers had held back their produce expecting prices to sky-rocket like last year. But this year, the kharif crop is good despite erratic rain. With the crop running out of its shelf life, farmers have begun to clear stocks,” said Mr Madan Prakash, Director of Chennai-based Rajathi Group of Companies that exports agricultural produce.     

Wholesale onion prices slide in Maharashtra

Dec 08, 2011

The wholesale onion prices at the major APMCs in Maharashtra have declined by about Rs 2/kg during the last week due to the increased supply of new as well as stored onions. The downward trend in prices is happening despite the Centre lowering the minimum export price (MEP) to $250/tonne just over a week ago. On November 28, the average onion prices in Lasalgaon, Pimpalgaon and Pune were Rs 900/quintal. Since then, the prices have come down by more than Rs 2/kg at Lasalgaon mundi as the arrival is gradually picking up. On Wednesday, the average onion price at Lasalgaon was Rs 7/kg. Similarly, at the Pimpalgaon APMC in Nashik district, the prices have decreased by Rs 2/kg during the last one week. The government had consistently discouraged onion exports this year by keeping a very high MEP. As a result, there was a good stock of stored onions. Farmers had to sell the stored onions at a throw away price due to quality deterioration. Many farmers had lost half of their stored produce due to rotting. RP Gupta, president of the National Horticulture Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF), said: "The government will have to monitor onion prices closely as they have declined even after reducing the MEP to $250/tonne. If the prices come down further in the second and third weeks of December (at a time when the arrivals increase), the MEP will have to be lowered immediately in order to stabilise the domestic prices."     

Lower export floor price lifts demand for onion

Dec 05, 2011

Onion prices recovered this week as demand, especially from buyers abroad, rebounded after the Centre lowered the minimum export price to $250 a tonne. “Demand for onion has stabilised and exports have picked up. Buyers from the Gulf, especially Dubai, and South-East Asia are purchasing,” said Mr Rupesh Jaju, Director of Nashik-based United Pacific Agro Pvt Ltd. The modal price or the rate at which most trades took place that was hovering at Rs 740 a quintal improved this week to as high as Rs 900 during the middle of the week before settling at Rs 750 on Friday at the Lasalgaon Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee yard, Asia's largest, in Maharashtra.     

Lower export floor price of onions cheers farmers

Nov 30, 2011

The government’s move to reduce the floor price to export onion could boost shipments and benefit farmers. Entry of kharif crop from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka had swelled supplies, helping the government cut minimum export price (MEP) for the key agricultural commodity on Monday to $250 per tonne, $100 down from the previous $350. The bar on exporting onion at prices below the government-set MEP of $350 had restricted shipments, since global prices are much lower at $300-350. India exported 8 lakh tonnes onions until October this fiscal, 3.5 lakh tonne below last year’s numbers. A brief ban in September and high MEP have discouraged exports.     

Onion export price dropped to $250 to make it competitive

Nov 29, 2011

Within a fortnight, the government today further lowered the export price of onion by USD 100 to USD 250 a tonne to make it competitive in the international markets. "Minimum Export Price (MEP) of all varieties of onion, except Bangalore Rose onions and Krishnapuram onions, will be USD 250 per tonne," a Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) notification said here. "For Bangalore Rose onions and Krishnapuram onions it will be USD 300 per tonne", the notification said. There is decrease in these two South Indian varieties too as earlier it was fixed at USD 400 a tonne.     

Indian onion farmers hit by state meddling

Nov 28, 2011

Moves by the Indian government to further reduce the export price of onion from US$350 a tonne stems from a steep 24 per cent decline in overseas shipments of the staple. India's onion export has declined by about 213,000 tonnes during April to November 20 this year, agri-cooperative Nafed, a principal government agency which grants NOC for onion shipments, said.     

High prices bring down onion exports

Nov 25, 2011

India's onion export has declined by about 2.13 lakh tonnes during April to November 20 this year, agri-cooperative Nafed, a principal government agency which grants NOC for onion shipments, said. Close on the heels of the government bringing down the export price of onion by $125 a tonne to $350 a tonne last week, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on tuesday said there has been discussion on further lowering the MEP to boost exports of onion. The country had exported 11,18,426 tonnes between April and November 30 last year, the sources said. Only 9,05,150 tonnes of the bulb had been send abroad between April and November 15, 2011, a fall of almost 24%.     

Govt may further bring down export price of onion: Pawar

Nov 23, 2011

After reducing onion MEP by USD 125 to USD 350 a tonne, the government is planning to further cut the minimum export price of the commodity in its bid to stem the slide in domestic rates. "We are thinking to further bringing down the Minimum Export Price (MEP) for onion because the domestic prices of the bulb is going down," Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar told reporters. On onion export prices, Pawar said officers have been directed to collect information on prices of onion in the domestic markets in the next 3-4 days.     

Onion rebounds after cut in export floor price

Nov 21, 2011

Onion prices rebounded on Friday after dropping to an eight-month low, after the Centre notified the lowering of minimum export price (MEP) to $350 a tonne. The modal price or the rate at which most trades took place in onion has crashed to Rs 421 a quintal on Thursday at the Lasalgaon Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee yard due to lack of demand. On March 11, onion's modal price had touched Rs 350 before rising to over Rs 1,000 a quintal in September. Friday's rebound was aided by last night's notification by the Commerce Ministry on the revision of MEP from $475 that was fixed in September soon after the Centre lifted a ban on onion exports. Subsequently, the Centre has cut the MEP for Bangalore and rose onions to $400 ($475).     

Onion export price cut 26%

Nov 18, 2011

MEP brought down to $350 a tonne from $475 to lend support to falling domestic prices. The government has decreased the minimum export price (MEP) of onion by $125 a tonne to $350 a tonne, to boost sagging exports and lend support to falling domestic prices. However, prices of certain southern varieties have been kept at $400 a tonne. Prior to this, a price of $475 was applicable for all varieties. The MEP was raised from $300 to $475 a tonne in early September, when retail prices had touched Rs 25 a kg.     

Good harvest, export limits set to keep onion prices stable

Nov 15, 2011

Onion prices are expected to remain stable in the months ahead on good kharif harvest in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka as well as the export restriction which has kept large stocks within the country. Last December, onion prices had touched a record, prompting government to ban exports. The minimum export prices which were clamped when the ban was lifted limited exports, which piled up summer crop which is being exhausted now.     

Onions stay put as supply matches demand

Nov 14, 2011

Onion prices were stable this week in markets around growing areas on increased arrivals and constant demand. “Prices were stable as nearly 17,400 tonnes of onion arrived in various markets in Maharashtra in the last three days,” said Mr Rupesh Jaju, Director of United Pacific Agro Pvt Ltd that ships onions. Prices ruled between Rs 500 and 1,200 a quintal depending on quality but most of the trades took place between Rs 900 and Rs 1,000 a quintal. “Arrivals are good in Karnataka, too, and the quality of arrivals is good,” said Mr Madan Prakash, Director of Chennai-based Rajathi Group of Companies that exports agri-produce.     

Onion next on MNC seed firm target list

Nov 09, 2011

The Indian onion with its unique taste, texture, bulb size and pungency, is about to fall victim to the machinations of a multinational seed company. After tinkering with the genes of the onion in the West in order to change its trademark tear-causing property and pungency, the firm has now sought permission of the Indian authorities to “produce commercial grade onion seeds” out of the hybrids developed by the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research. The company has sought the germplasm of two hybrid varieties of Indian onions that have been doing well in the fields and giving high returns to farmers. It has approached the National Biodiversity Board seeking 25 grams each of male sterile (A line) and maintainer (B line) of MS-48 and MS-65 hybrid onion varieties.     

Burma may import onions to prevent prices from rising

Nov 02, 2011

Following heavy flooding in the Pakokku Region of Burma, onions may be imported to prevent prices from rising, says the Myanmar Onion Producers Association. Starting in late October, heavy rain hit Pakokku District, a key onion producing area in Magway Region and onion fields were spoiled. Onion prices increased from 700 kyat (about US$ 0.90) per viss (1 viss = 1.6 kg) to 1,200 kyat per viss.     

Gulf demand, poor quality firm up onions

Oct 31, 2011

Onion prices increased this week on export demand, mainly from Gulf countries. “Export demand has re-emerged since Pakistan is unable to supply to West Asian countries. This has helped prices pick up,” said Mr Rupesh Jaju, Director of Nashik-based United Pacific Agro Pvt Ltd. With Pakistan being unable to cater to the demand in Gulf, India is seen as the only source that can meet their requirements. Though low arrivals due to Diwali contributed to the rise in prices, trade sources said rates would have increased even if arrivals had been higher.     

Onion prices crash below production cost

Oct 25, 2011

Onion farmers could not recover their production cost this year. They are selling onions at 40% less than the last year's prices while exports have fallen 30% from April to September. The prices have fallen due to higher supplies this year. Farmers are offloading carryover stocks ahead of the November harvest. Some are selling to raise cash for the Diwali festival.     

Onion export offtake to remain low

Oct 24, 2011

Onion prices continue to rule lower on lack of domestic and export demand. “There was total lack of demand in the domestic market. There were also no enquiries for onion exports,” said Mr Madan Prakash, Director of Chennai-based Rajathi Group of companies that exports agricultural produce. In Lasalgaon Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee yard in Maharashtra, the modal price or the rate at which most trades took place was Rs 815 a quintal. There has been some recovery in prices after onion slipped to Rs 750 on Wednesday. Prices at Pune were around Rs 750 a quintal and at Pimpalgaon, they were down to Rs 711.     

Onion prices come down to Rs800-Rs900 per quintal due to adequate supply, well-stocked inventories

Oct 18, 2011

Lower offtake by exporters and arrival of the ‘kharif’ harvest crop has brought down prices by Rs200/quintal in the wholesale market. But there has been a dip in demand. Onion prices have come down across key markets after the fresh arrival of the kharifharvest in addition to the already adequate supply of the produce in the market. Lower offtake by exporters due to higher minimum export price (MEP) has also impacted wholesale prices.     

Drop in onion and potato prices ease inflation to 9.32%

Oct 17, 2011

After a upward profile, food inflation has eased, but only marginally — thus coming as no major relief for the common man. It remained at an elevated level of well above 9 per cent, even as it was evident that the Reserve Bank of India was readying for another rate hike on October 25. For the week ended October 1, food inflation stood at 9.32 per cent on an annual basis — down from what was 9.41 per cent the week before. The slide, minor as it is, rode on the back of a major drop in the rate of price rise in onion, potato and protein-based items.     

KARACHI: Onion hits Rs60 per kg, greens’ prices fall

Oct 17, 2011

The price of onion has become more than double in the last few days despite import from neighboring countries while consumers have seen fall in green vegetables rates. Traders are charging Rs50-60 per kg depending on the area and quality as against Rs20-30 per kg a few days ago.A trader said that some onion from Iran and other countries had started arriving in the market coupled with some supplies from Balochistan but it had yet to stabilize the rates. Iranian quality is bigger in size while size of Balochistan onion is small. Pakistan had to import the main staple food item – onion — from various countries to meet the demand and supply gap after last month’s rains and floods which destroyed 80 per cent of ready crop of onion in various parts of Sindh.     

Philippines to import 4,000 metric tons of onions in October, November

Oct 11, 2011

With the supply of yellow and white onions almost gone, the Philippine government said it would import nearly 4,000 metric tons in October and November. The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Plant Industry said it has signed import permits for 3,796 metric tons of white and yellow onions from China and The Netherlands.“There is virtually no more white onions in the market,” BPI director Clarito Baron said in a media interview. Baron noted that onions tend to be low in the months leading to December, the holiday season.     

India: Onion plunges as higher floor price hits export

Oct 05, 2011

Onion prices crashed in markets around growing areas in Maharashtra and Gujarat this week as a higher floor price of $475 a tonne for exports affected shipments and inventories built up at ports due to congestion. “As the Government clamped a ban on onion exports earlier this months, buyers switched over to Pakistan and Chinese onions. It takes an additional three-four days for Pakistani onions to reach Malaysia or Singapore. By the time, the Centre could lift the ban, buyers had placed orders for those onions and our exports have got hit,” said Mr Madan Prakash, Director of Chennai-based Rajathi Group of Companies. “The minimum export price remains at a higher level, affecting exports. Pakistan and China have swarmed markets in Far East, especially Malaysia and Singapore,” said Mr Rupesh Jaju, Director of Nashik-based United Pacific Agro Pvt Lt. Both firms are engaged in exports of agricultural produce.     

Indian onions losing overseas markets to China & Pak: Exporters

Sep 28, 2011

Though the government has lifted a ban on onion exports, the Indian produce is losing out to its rivals from neighboring China and Pakistan due to high prices and uncertain policies, according to exporters. "We could export a meagre 4,000-5,000 tonnes of onions during the last week (from September 20, when the ban was lifted, till September 27)," a senior office-bearer of the Mumbai-based Agriculture Export Association said. Indian onions, which traditionally see great demand from markets in the Gulf, Far East (Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia) and Sri Lanka, are finding it difficult to compete with produce from China and Pakistan, which are selling at a lower export price, a trade source said.     

India: Onion exporters call for reduction in MEP

Sep 26, 2011

Onion exporters and cultivators are not satisfied with the Union government's gesture of lifting ban on export. They feel the Indian onion does not have a great demand in the global market because the minimum export price fixed by the Centre ($475 per tonne) is higher than the current global prices. Experts say the Indian onion, which is largely produced in Maharashtra, is popular in the global market because of its peculiar taste. However, high minimum export price set by the Centre is a deterrent.     

Bangladesh hopes for better onion days

Sep 22, 2011

The Indian government has lifted the ban on onion exports in the face of protest by farmers in Maharashtra, raising expectations in Bangladesh that the onion prices might go down. The ban, imposed on Sep 9, to check rising onion prices in India triggered a price hike in Bangladesh. However, the wholesale prices in India had fallen to Rs. 400 per quintal from Rs. 1000 prompting farmers in Maharashtra to demonstrate against the decision. In Khatunganj wholesale market, the largest in Bangladesh for imported goods, prices of onion rose by nearly Tk 15 per kilogramme following the ban.     

Onion export ban lifted; $ 475/T fixed as minimum export price

Sep 21, 2011

A ministerial panel has lifted the ban on onion exports under pressure from traders and farmers, just 10 days after the Centre imposed it to rein in prices. However, exports will be regulated by a minimum export price, which has been fixed at $475 a tonne. The decision was taken by an empowered group of ministers (EGoM) on food, which met here on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. The government had banned onion exports on September 9 after its retail price touched Rs 25 a kg. The clampdown led to prices dropping by aboutRs3 a kg in retail and by about Rs 400 a quintal in the wholesale market, from about Rs1,000 per quintal, triggering protests from farmers in the key producing states of Maharashtra and Karnataka.     

Ministers' panel to review ban on onion exports on Tuesday

Sep 19, 2011

The Centre's ban on onion export will be reviewed by the Empowered Group of Ministers on Tuesday. The ban came into effect on September 7 on fears that onion prices could rise, stoking food inflation further. The ban has led to agitation by farmers across the country. Maharashtra's farmers, who produce about 33 per cent of the nation's output, have stopped selling onions. Their inventory has increased to about 14 lakh tonnes. In Nashik, the nerve centre of onion trade in the country, the farmers' agitation has led to agriculture produce market yards being shut indefinitely. On Saturday, the Union Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, along with the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and other senior State Ministers met a delegation of farmers from the State and assured it that the Centre will look into their demands.     

Pakistan: Onion prices jump on ‘artificial shortage’

Sep 16, 2011

Onion prices have increased sharply as commission agents and stockists are said to have created an acute shortage of the commodity while exporters are making hectic purchases to meet commitments. The price of onions which were available at Rs12 per kilogramme about two weeks ago, has gone up to Rs40-50 per kg. Traders said in the wake of reports from parts of Sindh about damage to the onion crop due to devastating rains and floods, commission agents and stockists had created artificial shortage of onion in the market.     

Govt to review restriction at next EGoM meet

Sep 15, 2011

Amid growing farmer protests and political pressure against the ban on onion exports, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister K V Thomas on Wednesday said the government might review the decision at the next meeting of the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on Food. Last week, the EGoM, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, had decided to ban the export of onions — a staple of the Indian kitchen — to boost domestic supply and control rising retail prices, which have risen to Rs 25 a kg in the national capital from Rs 15 a kg a few weeks ago. The panel of ministers also decided to review the export ban after every 15 days.     

Efforts on to lift ban on onion exports

Sep 14, 2011

Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Tuesday said that efforts were on to find a solution to the ban on onion exports, particularly in view of the fact that lifting the ban may push up wholesale and retail prices. Addressing a news conference in Satara, Chavan said he discussed the issue with the Union ministers concerned. "I have discussed the matter of lifting the ban on onion exports with Union home minister P Chidambaram and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is a member of the price monitoring committee. If the ban is lifted, the wholesale price would increase to Rs 1,100 per quintal which will help the retail prices," Chavan said.     

India: Nashik farmers stage protest against onion export ban

Sep 13, 2011

Farmers on Friday boycotted onion auctions at various Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMC) here protesting the Central government's decision to ban the bulb's export. Farmers boycotted onion auctions at Lasalgaon, Pimpalgaon, Manmad, Kalwan and other APMCs and urged the Centre to lift the ban with immediate effect contending that they will face huge losses otherwise, APMC sources said. APMC sources at Lasalgaon told reporters that no trading was possible since morning. Onion growers staged a "jail bharo" at Kalwan APMC. In a Cabinet meeting yesterday, Government had banned onion exports to control rising prices.     

Onion prices rise on Indian ban

Sep 12, 2011

Prices of onions jumped yesterday, buoyed by a ban by India on the export of the item, traders said. The price of onions rose to Tk 36-45 a kilogram yesterday from Tk 32-42 on Thursday in markets in Dhaka, according to Trading Corporation of Bangladesh. The wholesale prices of onions also rose. “There is a lack in the supply of onions in the market. Those who are still hoarding stocks are reluctant to sell as well,” said Idris Ahmed, owner of a wholesale store, Dhaka Baniyalaya at Shyambazar.He said onions were selling at Tk 35-36 a kilogram at the wholesale market of Shyambazar yesterday. Prices went up since Friday afternoon, after news of the ban by India, said Ahmed.     

Govt mulls raising export price of onions to $475/ tonne

Sep 09, 2011

To curb exports of onion and improve its supplies in the domestic markets, the government is contemplating increasing the minimum export price (MEP) of onions by almost $175 per tonne to $475 per tonne, but it may not immediately ban onion exports. At present, the MEP is pegged at $300 per tonne after it was raised by $25 per tonne on August 24. The hike, the fourth since June 18, was done as the retail price of onion started rising because of delay in sowing of kharif crop in Maharashtra, the country’s largest onion-growing state and also hoarding by farmers, analysts said.     

Govt orders cooperatives Nafed, NCCF to sell onion at Rs 20/kg

Sep 07, 2011

With prices of onion showing a rising trend, the government has directed cooperatives-- Nafed and NCCF-- to sell the kitchen staple at a subsidised rate of Rs 20 per kg from their outlets in the national capital. Direction to this effect was given by Food and Consumer Affairs Minister K V Thomas after a meeting to review onion prices here last evening, an official statement said today. While agri-cooperative Nafed has six outlets in Delhi, the NCCF (National Consumer Cooperative Federation) has 15 such centres. Onion prices have risen to Rs 25 a kg in retail in Delhi and NCR, from Rs 20 a kg around August 15.     

Govt set to curb onion exports

Sep 06, 2011

Markets could run low on onions again, prompting the government to consider taking a key monetary step to curb exports and check domestic prices from spiralling. After discussions on Monday, agriculture minister Sharad Pawar and food minister KV Thomas decided to hike a fee charged from onion exporters, or the “minimum export price,” amid signs of a major shortfall in output. Export of onions, other than premium varieties, currently attracts a levy of $275 (Rs 12,375) a tonne. This is set to go up by at least 5%.Spells of summer rains recently spoiled crops in Nashik, a prime onion-growing region in the country. The shortfall could be as much as 3 lakh tonnes, a government official said, requesting anonymity.     

India: Onion prices likely to stay high

Sep 05, 2011

A delayed monsoon followed by incessant rains is likely to bring tears to the eyes of consumers. The erratic rains have affected onion production and its supply leading to higher prices. The prices have already shot up by 20 per cent compared to last year and there is every possibility of another rise in the next few days. Gujarat contributes to about 17 per cent of the total onion production in the country. The prices in Ahmedabad are between Rs 16 and Rs 20 per kg at present. Ghyanshyam Patel, president of the Mahuva Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), said Mahuva and Talaja in Bhavnagar contribute around 80 per cent of the onion produce in the state. He said there is already less sowing in the region compared to previous years. This was because of the delayed monsoon in June and heavy rainfall in July and August. The two regions have received over 77 per cent of rain this season. Onion is also cultivated in Halvad in Surendranagar.     

Onion prices up as rains cut Maharashtra's output

Sep 02, 2011

A brief spell of summer rain has lowered Maharashtra's onion output and led to a spike in its price. "This year too rains affected onion production during summer. Prices have increased to Rs 800 per quintal in the wholesale market. Normally, prices stay around Rs 500 per quintal during this time," said Raju Patil, a commission agent of onion at Pune's Agriculture Produce Market Committee. It is a wholesale market which supplies onion to south India. Onion prices were high from December to February as last year's extended monsoon damaged the onion crop in Nashik, Pune, Ahmednagar and Dhule region.     

Rapid decrease of onion prices in Russia, producers in panic

Sep 02, 2011

According to Fruit-Inform Project, onion prices sagged to RUB 5-6/kg (EUR 0.12-0.14/kg) in the Central Federal District of Russia. Such a price level is almost twice as low as in the same period of the previous year when ex-field prices varied within RUB 8-10/kg (EUR 0.19-0.24/kg). Farmers are seriously concerned about the established situation because harvesting of late onions has not started, and demand is remaining low even against a background of rapidly decreasing prices. “It will be very difficult for Russian producers to plan their business in this season. Many do not believe in high onion prices in the second half of the season assessing production level on a scale of their region.     

India: Onion export price raised by USD 25/tonne

Aug 29, 2011

The government today raised the export price of onion by USD 25 to USD 300 a tonne, for the second time in a month, in order to discourage shipments and check prices of the commodity in the retail market. "Minimum Export price (MEP) of onions other than Bangalore Rose onions and Krishnapuram onions will be USD 300 per tonne," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification. On August 12, it was increased to USD 275 per tonne. However, the MEP of two superior varieties -- Krishnapuram onions and Bangalore Rose onions -- would continue to be USD USD 400 per tonne. The onion MEP has been raised to discourage exports and boost the domestic supply, a senior government official said.     

14% drop of Russia's onion imports in 2010/11

Aug 26, 2011

According to Fruit-Inform Project, the Russian Federation decreased its onion imports by 14% in the season 2010/11 (July-June) due to sharp growth of global onion prices and overall shortage of this produce in the market. Therefore, notwithstanding a fall of Russia's internal production in 2010 because of bad weather conditions, the country did not manage to compensate onion shortage by imports. Decrease in onion supply resulted in high prices, therefore onion consumption usually resistant to price fluctuations even in Russia considerably fell in last season.     

Peruvian onion imports continue to rise in 2011

Aug 18, 2011

The Ministry of Agriculture of Peru released information earlier this summer stating that the country’s fresh-onion exports totaled $6.6 million from January through May 2011. According to government officials, this represents an increase of 64 percent over the same period in 2010.     

Onion output may fall 20-30% this year

Aug 17, 2011

Onion production is likely to decline by about 20-30 per cent this year due to deficient rainfall in the major producing regions of Maharashtra and Gujarat. “Major producing regions of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat have received less rainfall this year and therefore, onion production could fall by about 20-30 per cent,” the National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF) Director, Mr R.K. Gupta, told PTI. India produced over 14 million tonnes of onions in the 2010-11 crop year (July-June).     

Indian onion faces foreign onslaught

Aug 16, 2011

Look who wants to tinker with the onion in the country! The Indian onion, long considered for its unique taste, texture, bulb size and pungency, may lose its naturality if a multinational seed company has its way. After tinkering with the genes of the onion in the West to change its trademark tear-causing property and pungency, the firm has now sought permission of Indian authorities to “produce commercial grade onion seeds” out of the hybrids developed by the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research.     

Amid probe, Monsanto applies for research on hybrid onions

Aug 09, 2011

Over a year after bio-piracy complaints against U.S.-based multinational Monsanto — with regard to Bt brinjal — reached the National Biodiversity Authority of India (NBA), the investigation is still continuing. However, when Monsanto sent in its application to use Indian onion strains for hybrid research last month, the Authority promptly forwarded it, and expects it to be dealt with by the end of the month. “It is a matter of very serious worry that the NBA, which has failed to demonstrate urgency in dealing with the complaint of bio-piracy against Mahyco/Monsanto, has wasted no time at all in processing Monsanto's application to access onions,” says Leo Saldanha of the Environment Support Group (ESG), which is the complainant in the alleged bio-piracy case.     

Export price of onions hiked by $30 per tonne

Jul 18, 2011

The government on Friday raised the export price of onion, for the second time within 40 days, by $30 per tonne to $230 a tonne to discourage shipment of the kitchen staple outside the country. However, the Minimum Export Price (MEP) of two superior varieties— Krishnapuram and Bangalore Rose — was kept unchanged at $350 per tonne, Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said. “MEP of onions other than Bangalore Rose onions and Krishnapuram onions will be $230 per tonne Freight on Board (FOB). It was $200 per tonne as notified on June 8, 2011,” DGFT said.     

USDA proposes new U.S. standards for frozen onion grades

Jun 15, 2011

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking comment on a proposal to establish new U.S. standards for grades of frozen onions. The American Frozen Food Institute, a national trade association promoting and representing the interest of the frozen fruit and vegetable industry, requested that USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service develop grade standards for frozen onions. The USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service reports that U.S. production of onions was nearly 7.2 million pounds in 2010. Heavy production in the West is focused on the eastern Oregon and western Idaho region.     

Philippines: Local onion farmers seek ban on issuance of import permits

Jun 13, 2011

The government should continue prohibiting the issuance of onion import permit (IP) as onion inventory is at a nine month high, and importation will be detrimental to farmers’ livelihood. The Department of Agriculture’s (DA) non-issuance last year of IP has auspiciously prodded farmers to plant onion which is why cold storage facilities are still inundated with onions while price is at a modest P50 to P60 per kilo.     

Indian onions hit as Indonesia lifts ban on Dutch produce

Jun 06, 2011

Indonesia's move to lift a ban on onion imports from the Netherlands has begun to hurt the prospects of Indian white dehydrated onion exports. Indonesia had banned Dutch onions on 2009 when consignments were found to be infected with stem nematode, a destructive pest. The ban was imposed as part of Jakarta's zero tolerance policy against such plant pathogens. The ban was lifted on April 18.     

Philippines: Moratorium on onion import permits stays till end of June

Jun 01, 2011

The current moratorium on import permits for onions, amid sufficient domestic supply, will stay until at least the end of June, a Cabinet official said on Friday last week. "We are not issuing permits now because we have buffer stock," Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said in a phone interview. "Until the end of the second quarter, we see no need to issue import permits," he added. "We have given dryers to onion growers and warehouses are still full." Mr. Alcala said the department will review the domestic demand and supply situation for the next quarter.     

India's onion exports fell by over 31% in 2010-11

May 30, 2011

India's onion export dropped by over 31 per cent in 2010-11 at 12.89 million tonnes as compared to the previous year due to damage to the crop and ban on shipment in the later part following soaring of domestic prices of the kitchen staple. India had exported 18.73 million tonnes of onion in 2009-10 financial year. The sources attributed the dip in 2010-11 to damage to the crop due to unseasonal rains in main producing regions of Maharashtra and Gujarat in October-November last year.     

India: Govt cuts export price of two superior varieties of onions

May 19, 2011

The government today slashed the minimum export price (MEP) of two superior varieties of onions sharply by USD 250 to USD 350 per tonne. "Minimum Export Price (MEP) of Bangalore Rose Onions and Krishnapuram onions will be USD 350 per tonnes," Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification issued today. Earlier, the MEP of the two varieties stood at USD 600 per tonne. On March 23, the MEP of Bangalore Rose onions and Krishnapuram onions was cut to USD 600 per tonnes from USD 1,400 per tonnes, which was fixed when the ban was lifted in February this year. For all other varieties, the government has already reduced MEP to USD 170 per tonnes from USD 600 per tonnes in various tranches.     

Bumper rabi onion crop and low exports pull down prices

May 18, 2011

A bumper rabi onion harvest and lower volume of exports because of high minimum export price (MEP) have been pulling down the retail prices of the vegetable over the last few weeks. But it could be a different picture entirely in the next season. With the wholesale price ranging between R550 and R600 per quintal at Nashik, the hub of the country's onion trade, traders feel that farmers are not recovering their cost of production, which may lead to a drastic reduction in onion acreage in the forthcoming kharif season.     

Spain: Second exporter of onion to EU, after the Netherlands

May 10, 2011

Spain is one of the main producers and exporters of onion to the EU. It's the second, after the Netherlands.According to Eurostat, onion exports in 2010, from the Netherlands were of 1.3 million tons, while Spain exported 223,821 tons. After Spain comes Poland with 113,553 tons and France with 109,544 tons.Inside Spain, the main onion exporting community is Valencia, with 149,655 tons, followed by far by Castilla-La Mancha with 24,618 tons and Andalucía with 19,234 tons. In 2010, Spain imported 58,861 tons of onion coming mainly from the Netherlands, France and Chile.     

Pakistan: Onion rates see surprise dip as Indian export begins

May 04, 2011

Following resumption of Indian onion export in the region, rates of onion in the wholesale and retail markets of Karachi have crashed causing colossal financial losses to growers and farmers in Sindh. Leading Sindh growers and farmers have claimed that current rates of onion stand at 5-year low, reflecting surprisingly low prices after onion export from Pakistan witnessed an abrupt halt. Export of Pakistani onion has come to a virtual halt during the last one month on account of resumption of export of Indian onion sidelining Pakistan—as India has been a major supplier to majority of the countries of the region.     

Bumper production and higher MEP pull down onion exports

May 03, 2011

Bumper production in key growing countries including India and Pakistan and a higher minimum export (MEP) price have led to a sharp decline in onion exports from the country this year. Official sources told FE that while India exported 1.74 lakh tonne of onion in the April during 2010-11 season, exports have dropped significantly to only 30,000 tonne for April this year. “Higher minimum export price and glut in the global market because of a bumper crop have hit exports to a large extent, leading to farmers not recovering even the cost of the production,” an official with agriculture cooperative major Nafed told FE.     

Eastern European demand for onions increases

Apr 27, 2011

The decreasing prices per bale of the last few weeks seemed to attract some interest in buying by Eastern block countries. Then there will be work again for a number of sorting companies. Not much sorting had to be done during the last few weeks, because of the limited demand for onions. Especially the sorting companies in the central Netherlands appear to be profiting as a result of the slightly increasing Eastern European demand. The total amount of sorting to be done is, however, insufficient for complete sorting weeks. The trade is, based on circumstances, not dissatisfied with present sales.     

India''s onion exports plunge due to high MEP

Apr 04, 2011

Owing to high Minimum Export Price (MEP) of onion after lifting of ban in late February, shipment of the bulb from India dropped to as low as about 10 per cent as compared to last year, a development which helped onion exporters of Pakistan, China and Iran having lower MEP. Indian onion traders contracted only 27,300 tonnes of the root vegetable from February 17 (when the government lifted the ban) to March 23 this year, sources in agri-cooperative Nafed, the main agency for contracting onion export, said. The country had exported 2.81 lakh tonnes of onion during the corresponding period a year ago, they said.The government has slashed the MEP of onion other than Bangalore Rose Onions and Krishnapuram onions, to USD 170 a tonne on March 31, 2011 from USD 600 per tonne on February 17.     

Agri Min demands cut in onion export price to USD 175/tone

Mar 31, 2011

To help farmers realise better price in the global market, the Agriculture Ministry has asked the Commerce Ministry to further cut the minimum export price (MEP) of onion to USD 175 per tonne from the existing USD 275 per tonne. "We hope that our view (MEP of USD 175 per tonne) will be endorsed by the Commerce ministry and Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) will issue necessary notification very shortly," Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Arun Yadav said in a statement.     

Reduction in MEP of onion will spur exports

Mar 28, 2011

A move by the Government to further lower the minimum export price (MEP) for onions to $225 a tonne from $275 is likely to boost exports of the vegetable. This is the fourth time that the MEP has been cut this month from $600 fixed when the ban on onion exports was lifted. Besides, the Government has also reduced the MEP for Bangalore rose onions to $600 a tonne from $1,400. “The lower MEP will boost exports to European destinations such as Greece and Italy, besides our traditional markets,” said Mr Rupesh Jaju, Director of the Nashik-based United Pacific Agro Pvt Ltd.     

Price cut fails to fuel onion exports

Mar 23, 2011

Despite slashing the onion minimum export price (MEP) for the third time this month, there are no takers for the vegetable from India, one of the world's largest producers, as even at the lower rate the price remains above the prevailing global prices.     

Govt slashes onion MEP to $275/tone

Mar 18, 2011

The government slashed the minimum export price (MEP) of onions for the third time this month to $275 a tonne from the earlier price of $350 a tonne as retail prices declined.“MEP of onions other than Bangalore Rose onions and Krishnapuram onions would be $275 a tonne FoB (freight-on-board),” the Directorate General of Foreign Trade said in a notification.     

EU: "Demand for onions is there, but transport is the difficulty!"

Mar 10, 2011

The export of Dutch onions is very difficult at the moment. It is a pity, that this is caused by external circumstances. Closed borders such as in Senegal and wars make the export to Africa very difficult, whilst the winter weather still influences the export to Russia." Transport to Russia is a big problem" said a Dutch onion exporter.     

Govt slashes onion export price to US$ 350 per tonne

Mar 09, 2011

The government on Tuesday slashed the minimum export price (MEP) for onion, for the second time this month, to US$ 350 per tonne from US$ 450 per tonne earlier.     

Onion set to remain dear

Nov 26, 2010

Supply disrupted due to transportation problems; prices double in last 1 month. Onion prices will remain high for some more time on inadequate supply in major mandis across the country, following unseasonal rainfall. Early crops, harvested in major centres of Karnataka and Nasik and stored in open plinths, were severely damaged following tow days of unseasonal rains. Subsequently, high moisture content in the new crop went up further resulting into massive spoilage.     

Imports from India lower onion, tomato prices in Lahore

Nov 18, 2010

Prices of onions and tomatoes got slightly lowered in Lahore ahead of the festival of Eid, following the arrival of Indian vegetables in the domestic market. Rates of onions in the city a day before Eid were 60 to 80 rupees per kilogram, which had crossed the mark of 100 rupees per kilogram last week, however, vendors said that their rates came down as big dealers and importers imported huge quantities of both items from India, after observing an increasing trend in their prices in the domestic market, The News reported.     

Govt hikes onion MEP to $525/tn to check domestic rates

Nov 16, 2010

The Government today increased the minimum export price (MEP) of onion sharply by $ 150 to $ 525 per tonne for the current month to discourage exports and control rising prices in the domestic market. "We have increased the onion MEP from $ 375 a tonne to $ 525 a tonne for this month and we will again review the export prices by month-end," the Managing Director of agri- cooperative and onion export regulator NAFED, Sanjeev Chopra, told reporters here. He said Nafed and NCFF will sell onion at Rs 25 per kg from tomorrow in the national capital. "We increased onion MEP sharply because of unprecedented rise in prices especially in retail markets," he said. Onion prices in Delhi have risen to around Rs 40 a kg, according to trade data. The country has shipped 10.10 lakh tonnes of onion so far this fiscal, against 12.99 lakh tonnes in the year-ago period, the official data showed.     

Central Govt may curb onion export as local prices zip

Nov 15, 2010

Onions still have the power to bring tears to consumers’ eyes: rates may remain high for the next two to three weeks since fresh arrivals are delayed by unseasonal rains and old stocks are running low. This has forced the Centre to step in by curbing exports to cool domestic prices. The minimum export price , or MEP, for onions for November is likely to be increased by $100-$150 per tonne with effect from November 16. The firming up of domestic prices due to lower-than expected fresh arrivals and reports of crop damage in Karnataka have prompted Nafed to revise the MEP. Nafed reviews MEP for onion every month. The MEP for all destinations for Novemebr was reduced by $50 a tonne on October 29 to $375 per tonne from $425. This lowering of the price had given a boost to exports and Indian onion is currently getting Rs 40-45 per kg in the Middle East market while there is heavy demand from Malaysia and Sri Lanka for the commodity. The decision on a downward revision of the MEP was taken considering that onion prices would come down to Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,200 per quintal as arrival of the new kharif crop was expected to pick up pace in November. “As the markets were closed for Diwali, we were unable to access market data on which to base our decision,” said CB Holkar, vice president, National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (Nafed ) and president of the National Horticulture Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF), Nashik. Mr Holkar presides over the MEP review committee. “When trading began at the wholesale markets after the Diwali holiday, onion prices started moving up fast. The average wholesale price of onion was Rs 1,800 per quintal to Rs 2,000. Hence, we have decided to curb exports in the second half of November,” said Mr Holkar. A meeting is scheduled on Monday to review the MEP for November. The retail price of onion in Delhi ranges between Rs 25 per kg to Rs 35 per kg. In Pune, good quality onion is selling for Rs 25 per kg to Rs 35 per kg in th     

Onion soars on rain, export demand

Nov 15, 2010

Continuous rain in the growing areas and exporters hunt for old stocks have led to a sharp surge in onion prices in the last fortnight. Though the modal price, or the rate at which most trades take place, is lower than Rs 1,600 a quintal, rates in retail markets are hovering around Rs 40 a kg."Old stocks of onion are in good demand and they are quoted anywhere between Rs 3,000 and Rs 3,700 a quintal," said Mr Rupesh Jaju, a trader from Nashik in Maharashtra. "Rains in growing areas in Karnataka have damaged the crop and prices have run up as a result," said Mr Madan Prakash, Executive Director of Rajathi Group of companies. "The new crop has begun to arrive in markets. But there is a problem with its quality and the volume of arrivals is also low," said Mr Jaju. The new crop is ruling between Rs 1,000 and Rs 2,000 a quintal depending on quality."Even the size of the new arrivals is small or medium. The older stocks are bigger ones," Mr Jaju said. Problems of quality have cropped up with onions from Karnataka. As a result, exporters are looking for onion from old stocks in Maharashtra. Export demand, though low, continues from West Asia and South-East Asia. Exports drop Meanwhile, onion exports in October dropped 18 per cent to 1.46 lakh tonnes, compared with the same period a year ago. In the first half of this fiscal, 10.10 lakh tonnes of onion valued at Rs 1,121 crore have been exported, against 12.99 lakh tonnes valued at Rs 1,540 crore during the year-ago period.     

57 per cent hike in onion prices since last week

Nov 15, 2010

After unseasonal rainfall destroyed the onion crop this past fortnight, there has been a sharp increase in prices with a kilo costing about Rs. 35. This is a 57 per cent hike from last week, when it was available for Rs. 20 a kilo. At Nashik's Lalsalgaon, the biggest onion market in Asia, traders blame the shortage on unseasonal rains that has destroyed some of the crop. "There is a shortage of supply in the market," said Umalay Sonkar, a trader."This situation is due to the climate. I think by November end or December first week the situation will improve and prices will stabilize," said another trader. Also, the Centre has slashed the minimum export price by $ 50 dollars to $ 375 per tonne for November against $425 per tonne to boost exports, anticipating a fresh crop by mid-November. This has pushed up export demand, at a time, when supply in the domestic market is already low. Traders however assure once the weather stabilises, the price will also stabilise.