Government scraps minimum export price on onion to boost shipments

NEW DELHI(PTI): The government on Thursday scraped the minimum export price (MEP) on onions, a move that is expected to encourage out-bound shipments of the commodity.


“All varieties of onions… can be exported without any MEP,” Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification. MEP is the rate below which no trader is allowed to export. The rise in MEP restricts exports and improves domestic supply.

In August, the government had hiked onion MEP to $700 per tonne, from $425, as prices at both wholesale and retail levels skyrocketed on lower output due to unseasonal rains. Also earlier this month, the government had slashed the minimum export price (MEP) on onions to $400 per tonne from $700 to encourage outbound shipments of the commodity.

The Maharashtra government had recently asked the Centre to scrap the minimum export price for onions to help boost overseas shipments after wholesale prices of the bulb went down to the Rs 10 per kg level.

According to the National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF) data, wholesale prices are ruling at Rs 10-14 per kg at Asia’s biggest wholesale market for onion at Lasalgaon in Maharashtra, much lower than its peak of Rs 57 per kg in August.