Indian Govt Imposes 40% Duty On Onion Exports To Check Price Rise

New Delhi: The Indian government on Saturday imposed a 40% duty on onion exports to check price rise and improve supplies in the domestic market.

A Finance Ministry notification said that the export duty will be levied with immediate effect. It will be valid till December 31, 2023.

The move comes as onion prices have continued to rise in August, and are likely to further go north in September.

As per price data available on the website of Department of Consumer Affairs, the all-India daily average retail price of onion was recorded at Rs 30.72 per kg on Saturday, which is 20.75% higher as compared to the last year’s rate of Rs 25.44 per kg. A month ago, the all-India daily retail price of onions stood at Rs 27.21 per kg.

The spike in domestic price of onions coincides with an appreciable jump in exports.

According to trade data available on the Department of Commerce portal, 6.38 lakh metric tonnes of onion were exported during April-June 2023 — 26.51% more than the 5.04 lakh metric tonnes during the corresponding period last year.

In June this year, India exported 2.92 lakh metric tonnes of onion, which is 89.56% higher than the figure exported in June 2022.

In the April-June 2023 period, India exported onions to 65 countries, of which a maximum quantity of 1.39 lakh metric tonnes was shipped to Bangladesh. Besides Bangladesh, Malaysia (1.07 lakh metric tonnes), United Arab Emirates (0.90 LMT), Sri Lanka (0.80 LMT), and Nepal (0.39 LMT) are among the top five destinations of Indian onions.

The Central government started releasing onion from its buffer stock on August 11, ANI reported.

The government had decided to maintain 3 lakh metric tonnes of onion in the 2023-24 season as buffer stock. In 2022-23, a buffer stock of 2.51 lakh metric tonnes was maintained.

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