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09-20-2013, 05:27 AM #1
Govt hikes minimum export price on onion
To curb rising onion prices, the government has hiked the minimum export price (MEP) of the vegetable to $900 per tonne.
MEP is is a benchmark price below which onion cannot be exported. Earlier on August 14, the government imposed MEP of $650 per tonne.
"Exports of all varieties of onions...will be subject to an MEP of $900 per tonne," Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification.
Onion shipments in August had come down substantially to 29,000 tonnes after a minimum floor price was imposed on exports.
Onion prices in retail markets, however, soared again to Rs 70-80 per kg.
The government is keeping a close watch on price situation. It has taken several measures to improve supplies including imports. The Centre has also directed all state governments to crack down on hoarders and speculators who are keeping onion prices artificially high.
There is short supply of onion as much of the stored onions of last year's crop have been exhausted. New crop from South India is yet to arrive in huge quantities in consuming states.
Agriculture co-operative Nafed has floated global tenders to import onions but has not taken a decision yet due to phytosanitary issues. Some private traders have imported a few tonnes of onions.
Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat are some of the main onion producing states.