1. Agriculture World

India’s Costly Onion Loses to Pakistan In The Global Market

India’s onion exports have been hampered due to the late arrival of the early Kharif crop. Quality of current produce and other competing nations are other problems that are being faced by India’s onion exports.

Shikha Parewa
Onions
Onions

India’s onion exports have been hampered due to the late arrival of the early Kharif crop. Quality of current produce and other competing nations are other problems that are being faced by India’s onion exports.

"The Kharif onion crop that is currently arriving is of poor quality." "We anticipate that the quality will improve in a week," said Ajith Shah, President of the Horticulture Produce Exporters Association (HPEA).

“The reason for the delay of the Kharif crop is heavy rains in the South in the month of October and November,” said Ajith. Further, he said, “Arrival of rose onions from Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh has also been delayed due to the detrimental effects of heavy rain”.

According to PK Gupta, joint director of the National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation in Nashik, Kharif onions have begun to appear in Maharashtra markets. "There was a hailstorm and rainstorm three days ago in the growing areas. However, details of any crop damage are awaited," he said.

Export has been affected as Indian onion is quoted higher in the export market said Shah. “Pakistan onion is quoted at $300 a tonne (₹22,450) whereas Indian onion is quoted at $500 (₹37,375). This is a huge difference and hurting shipments” he said.

"We are a major supplier of onions to Sri Lanka." However, it is experiencing a currency crisis, and its buyers owe money to our exporters. As a result, our shippers have ceased loading to Colombo," Shah explained.

Sri Lanka, which has reduced imports to combat the crisis, is suffering from currency woes as a result of the 2019 Easter bomb blasts, the spread of the Covid pandemic, and policy decisions made by the Gotabaya Rajapaksa administration that have not paid dividends.

Exports were also harmed when onion prices spiked in the last week of November before falling back. On November 24, the modal price (the price at which most trades take place) of red onion at Lasalgaon market yard, Asia's largest for onion, was 2,500 per quintal. On Tuesday, prices fell to $1,880. Rates were higher in the same period a year ago, at 2,400.

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