MUMBAI, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- India has directed its overseas High Commissions to push for greater imports of onions into the country to control the spiraling prices in the domestic market, said a release by the state-owned Press Information Bureau on Wednesday.
Last month, the Indian government took a pre-emptive measure by announcing a ban on onion exports to ensure availability to domestic consumers at reasonable prices.
In the past 10 days, domestic onion prices rose by 28.6 percent to 0.71 U.S. dollars per kg, which was also higher by over 12 percent than last year's price of 0.63 U.S. dollars per kg, the statement said.
But at the retail level, prices have soared to 1.4 U.S. dollars per kg in the southern state of Kerala from 0.54-0.68 U.S. dollar per kg a week ago while in several other cities of the country onion prices ranged between 0.81-0.95 U.S. dollars per kg.
While producing around 22.4 million tons of onions annually, India consumes around 15.5 million tons. The supply chain issues like hoarding by middleman along with weather conditions like monsoon disrupts supply.
The Indian government has also relaxed the conditions for fumigation and additional declaration on Phytosanitary Certificate to facilitate onion imports till December.
Around 50 containers of around 1,500 tons of imported onions at a landed cost of 0.61-0.68 U.S. dollars per kg have reached the west coast Indian port of JNPT and another 28 tons of Egyptian onions have reached another India port and will be available at retail prices of 0.75-0.82 per kg, industry sources said.
Moreover, domestic onion harvest of 3.7 million tons from the July to October season is likely to start arriving in the market shortly, said the government. Enditem