Demand for small onions from S-E Asia comes to exporters’ rescue

Need for onions smaller in dimension from South-East Asia is assisting exports of the commodity even as superior freight prices have influenced Indian onion shipments to West Asia, 1 of its key marketplaces.

“There is fantastic desire for small onions (of twenty five-35 mm diameter dimension) in countries such as Malaysia and Thailand. Besides, desire is also fantastic for sambhar onions (shallots) from these locations,” claimed M Madan Prakash, President, Agri Commodities Exporters’ Affiliation (ACEA).

South-East Asian nations, such as Malaysia, acquire shallots from Thailand but because materials are lower from Bangkok, desire has cropped for Indian ones.

Aggressive prices

“Indian small onions are competitive in the Significantly-East marketplaces. There is fantastic margin way too for exporters,” claimed Mukesh Singh, Managing Director, Mubala Agro Commodities Pvt Ltd that trades in domestic and overseas marketplaces.

Shallots are sent and packed at ₹45 a kg in Chennai. For South-East Asia, shallots are quoted at $850 (₹63,275) a tonne, charge and freight. “During the peak season, shallots quoted as superior as $one,300 (₹96,775) a tonne,” claimed Prakash.

At the exact same time, small dimension onions are sent at ₹20 a kg from Maharashtra. “There is desire for these onions from Bengal way too,” claimed the ACEA president.

“We are receiving fantastic rates for small onions from South-East Asia. Even Hong Kong has begun to acquire from us,” claimed Ajit Shah, President, Horticulture Deliver Exporters’ Affiliation (HPEA).

“Now the Centre has introduced the Remission of Obligations and Taxes on Exported Items, we can test and make fantastic out of it,” claimed Mubala Agro’s Singh.

‘New gamers gaining’

Nashik-primarily based exporter Vikas Chaudhary claimed onion exports from India have been influenced because of to superior freight prices that have made Pakistan’s produce much more competitive in marketplaces such as Dubai and other Gulf locations.

“New gamers, aside from Pakistan, are attaining ground in the Gulf marketplaces. Presently, our excellent is also not upto to the mark because these onions were being harvested in April,” claimed Singh.

In India, onions are harvested thrice — early kharif in the course of October-December, late kharif in the course of January-March and rabi in the course of March-May perhaps.

“Though Indian onions are only marginally costlier than the Pakistan ones in the Gulf marketplace, the latter is attaining in check out of freight gain,” claimed the Mubala Agro Commodities formal.

HCEA’s Shah claimed Indian onions are at the moment quoted at $310 a tonne (₹23,075) free-on-board. “Pakistan onions are quoted lower by about $30 (₹2,250),” he claimed.

Lankan forex crisis

The other difficulty that has influenced Indian onion exporters is Sri Lanka’s foreign trade crisis. “Colombo has stopped imports in check out of the crisis,” claimed ACEA’s Prakash.

“Sri Lanka was a fantastic marketplace for us. In check out of the crisis, we are now wanting at South-East and Significantly-East,” claimed Mubala Agro’s Singh.

“Exporters are struggling with troubles soon after delivery to Sri Lanka. Payments are not coming. Normally, we get fantastic desire from the island nation,” claimed Shah.

Singh claimed the concentrate of onion trade now is to clear the stock in advance of the early kharif onion arrival up coming month. “Karnataka crop has begun arriving in the marketplace and the excellent is fantastic. It is getting takers even in the north-east, changing Nashik onions,” he claimed.

Exporter Vikas Chaudhary claimed onion arrivals have improved, ensuing in rates ruling at ₹17-eighteen a kg at the moment. “Demand is also slack in check out of the existing auspicious month Shravan,” he claimed.

In accordance to the Ministry of Agriculture, the modal price tag (price at which most trades acquire put) at Lasalgaon — Asia’s most important marketplace for the bulb — is at the moment at ₹1,760 a quintal against ₹1,650 at the begin of the month. During the exact same time very last yr, the modal price tag was ₹1,670.

“Things need to seem up on the export entrance in an additional 3 weeks, notably when the new crops arrive to the marketplaces from Maharashtra,” claimed HCEA’s Shah.

Curbs on exports

Onion exports were being hit in the course of the very last two fiscals soon after the Centre suspended shipments as retail rates of the bulb topped ₹100 a kg. Aside from suspending exports, the Centre allowed responsibility-free imports of onion and imposed stock limitations.

Onion exports had touched a file 34.ninety two lakh tonnes (lt) in the course of 2016-seventeen. Considering that then, they have declined. In 2019-twenty, exports hit a 5-yr lower of eleven.49 lt just before recovering to 13.07 lt very last fiscal. Exports could have been increased but for the Government’s curbs on the shipments.

In accordance to the Ministry of Agriculture, onion creation was a file 26.ninety two million tonnes (mt) very last season (July 2020-June 2021) in contrast with 26.09 mt the prior season with the place below the crop increasing to one.six million hectares (mh) from one.forty three mh.