On August 14, the government had imposed a minimum onion export price of USD 650 per tonne to restrict shipments and control prices after it touched Rs 80 per kg in retail markets on supply crunch.
The retail price of onion continues to rule at Rs 50-60 per kg in most parts of the country. According to the data maintained by the cooperative Nafed, onion exports declined to 29,247 tonnes in August this year from 1,56,283 tonnes in the same month last year.
In value terms too, shipments dropped to Rs 125.46 crore from Rs 164.92 crore in the review period. During the April-August period of this fiscal, onion exports fell to 6,97,028 tonnes as against 8,50,634 tonnes in the year-ago period.
However, in value terms, the outbound shipments rose sharply to Rs 1,341 crore from Rs 844 crore in the said period.
According to traders, exports in the coming weeks would depend on the supply situation. The supply of onion is limited during the lean period of July-October, as 60 per cent of produce is grown during the rabi season of March-June.
The rest is produced during the Kharif season of October December and late Kharif season of JanuaryMarch period. India, the second largest producer of onion in the world after China, is estimated to have harvested 166 lakh tonnes of the staple vegetable last year. The country had earned Rs 2,294 crore from the export of 18.22 lakh tonnes of onion in FY 2012-13.