Onion exports to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have slowed down due to the current financial crisis in Sri Lanka and measures taken by the Bangladesh government to encourage local production in addition to imposing a tax on imported onions. Bangladesh is the biggest importer of onions from India, followed by Sri Lanka.
Exporters from Nashik, the country’s largest onion growing belt, claim that exports to Sri Lanka have reduced due to a delay in payments. The island nation is in the grip of its most painful economic downturn since independence in 1948, with severe shortages of essential goods and regular blackouts.
Exporters said total exports to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have dropped from 4,000-5,000 ton per week to 1,500 ton a week.
Bangladesh, meanwhile, is encouraging local cultivation of onion and has also imposed an import tax of around 2.80 taka per kg. This step was taken after frequent export bans by the Indian government led a rise in onion prices in the local Bangladesh markets, he said. Bangladesh needs to import 0.8-1 million ton of onions every year, a majority of which is imported from India.