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Onion exports down 10% to 6.95 lakh tonnes in Apr-Dec

The country’s onion exports declined by 10% to 6.95 lakh tonnes during April-December period of the ongoing fiscal due to restrictions on outbound shipments.

According to the National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF), exports rose by 44 per cent in value terms to Rs 1,961.60 crore in the first nine months of financial year 2015-16 on higher realization.

Adding to the data, onion exports stood at 6,95,231.32 tonnes during the nine-month period as against 7,76,291.13 tonnes in the corresponding period of the last financial year.

The exports dipped in the volume terms as the government had hiked the minimum export price (MEP) to USD 425 per tonne in June and then to USD 700 per tonne in August last after prices skyrocketed on lower output due to nonseasonal rains.

The government had scrapped the onion MEP to push exports as domestic prices crashed on Dec 25, 2015. MEP is the rate below which no trader is allowed to export.

In value terms, however, the exports increased to Rs 1,961,60 crore in the first nine months of this fiscal from Rs 1,364.76 crore in the corresponding period of 2014-15 fiscal due to higher sales realization, the data showed.

The average price realization stood at Rs 28,215.12 per tonne so far this fiscal as against Rs 18,506.56 per tonne achieved in the entire 2014-15.

India had exported 10,86,071.85 tonnes of onion for Rs 2,009.94 crore in the full 2014-15 financial year.

Onion production stood at 189 lakh tonnes in 2014-15 crop year (July-June). In the 2015-16 crop year, production is estimated at 206 lakh tonnes.

Maharashtra, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh are the top three onion-producing states in the country.

Onion prices are currently ruling at Rs 20-25 per kg in the retail market of the national capital.