Onion shipments from India are facing problems after the federal government lifted the ban on exports from 1 January this year, first in getting back importers and now due to rising domestic prices. The government banned onion exports in September last year after the vegetable’s retail prices began to surge. In the second week of October, the rates topped Rs 100 a kg in retail outlets.
Besides banning exports, the government initiated a packet of initiatives such as allowing duty-free imports and bringing in stock limits for the trade. All these helped control zooming onion prices, which began to ease from early December 2020. As prices dipped to below Rs 20 a kg in Maharashtra’s Nashik district — the hub of India’s onion trade, growers demanded that onion exports be permitted. This resulted in the government allowing exports from 1 January even as it allowed imports till January-end.
When exports were allowed, exporters were faced with the problem of importing nations such as Sri Lanka and the Philippines having ample stocks of onion from other countries.
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