The government has raised the minimum price for exporting onion by USD 50 to an average of USD 500-505 a tonne for January to increase domestic availability.
“The Minimum Export Price (MEP) has been raised by USD 50 a tonne for January 2010,” said a senior official with agri co-operative Nafed, which is the government’s agency to regulate onion export.
After the hike, the MEP now stands at USD 500-505 per tonne for export to Dubai and Sharjah, and at USD 515-530 a tonne for other destinations in the Gulf, he added.
The increase in MEP has been made even though export was lower in December 2009, the official said, adding, “there could be a check on retail prices through this move.”
According to data maintained by Nafed, onion export for December 2009 was 77,000 tonnes against 1.02 lakh tonnes during the same month in 2008.
Citing retail prices of onion at over Rs 20 a kg in many places in the country, he said the high MEP may bring down export further, thereby raising domestic supply.
Nafed, alongwith 13 other agencies involved in onion export, decides the MEP every month.
No export can take place below the MEP and all contracts are registered with the Nafed.
India has exported 9.91 lakh tonnes of onions in the first half of 2009-10 against 9.15 lakh tonnes a year ago.