Onion prices to stay above Rs100/kg as imports may take another month
04 December 2019
Onion prices are ruling above the Rs100 a kg levels, breaching Rs130-a-kg levels in most places, even as the government said central agencies have so far contracted imports of more than 20,000 tonnes of the commodity.
MMTC has contracted 4,000 tonnes of onions from turkey in addition to the 17,090 tonnes already contracted. But these are expected to arrive only by mid-January 2020, which means that prices will only rise further.
The 17,090 tonnes of onions already contracted includes 6090 tonnes from Egypt and 11,000 tonnes from Turkey.
The Department of Consumer Affairs has also directed MMTC to issue three more tenders for import of onions, out of which two tenders are country specific namely Turkey and the European Union and one is a global tender. Each of these tenders are for 5,000 tonnes.
Certain relaxations have been provided in the new tenders issued such as size range of onions have been expanded to 40 mm-80 mm, consortium bidding has been allowed, exporters can offer shipment in multiple lots. Additionally, fumigation condition relaxations that were earlier provided till 30 November 2019 have now been extended till 31 December 2019.
A coordination committee is holding meetings on a daily basis with participation from officials of MMTC, NAFED, CONCOR and associated ministries and departments. The ministry of shipping has also assured that it will provide priority landing/docking for the ships containing the imported onions and will also be appointing a nodal officer at JNPT, Mumbai for ensuring speedy arrivals and onward distribution/dispatch.
The government has also planned procurement of domestically produced Onions are procured from major onion producing states to be distributed across all consuming states as per the demand placed by them.
On Tuesday, the centre revised stock holding limit on onions to 25 tonnes on wholesalers and 5 tonnes on retailers. Importers will be exempted from these stock limits for imported stock.