790 Tonnes of Imported Onions Reach India: Govt Official

Approximately 12,000 tonnes of onion shipment is expected to arrive by end of December.

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Image used for representational purposes.

The first batch of imported onions weighing 790 tonnes has reached India and some quantities are being distributed to Delhi and Andhra Pradesh at a landing cost of Rs 57-60 per kg, a senior Consumer Affairs Ministry official said on 23 December.

Approximately 12,000 tonnes of onion shipment is expected to arrive by end of December, he stated.

State-run MMTC, which is importing the key kitchen staple on behalf of the government, has contracted 49,500 tonnes of onions so far.

Retail onion prices are selling at an average Rs 100 per kg in major cities, but rates are as high as Rs 160 per kg in some parts of the country.

“The two consignments comprising 290 tonnes and 500 tonnes each have already reached Mumbai. We are offering this onion at a landed cost of Rs 57-60 per kg to state governments,” the official told PTI.

Andhra Pradesh and Delhi governments have already placed their demands and have started lifting imported onions, he said.

Onions have been imported from Turkey, Egypt, and Afghanistan. More consignments are underway, which should improve the domestic supplies, he added.

Onion prices have shot up sharply due to an estimated 25 percent fall in Kharif production of 2019-20 crop year (July-June) compared to the previous year because of late monsoon and eventual excess rains in the major producing states.

Onion prices have failed to cool down despite several government measures in the last few weeks. The government has already banned the export of onions, imposed stock limits on traders and is also supplying buffer stock at a cheaper rate.

Traders and experts are of the view that onion prices will continue to remain firm till January when late Kharif crop will start hitting the market.

India had last imported 1,987 tonnes of onion in 2015-16 when the prices had shot up significantly.

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