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Govt allows exports of 10,000 tonnes onion to UAE

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NEW DELHI : With festival of Eid around the corner, India has allowed another 10,000 tonnes of onions to be shipped to the UAE through the National Cooperative Exports Ltd (NCEL), the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said on Tuesday night.

India has approved as much as 79,150 tonnes of onions for export overriding a ban on shipments imposed last December, including 14,400 tonnes to the UAE on 1 March.

Tight global supplies and a dry spell induced by the El Niño weather phenomenon had prompted the government to restrict onion exports during the 2023-24 financial year.

On 8 December, 2023, the government banned the export of onions till 31 March 2024. This has been extended indefinitely. The DGFT notification said export of onions will, however, be allowed on permission granted by the central government to based on requests made by the countries.

To check runaway onion prices, the government imposed a minimum export price (MEP) of $800 per tonne on 28 October till 31 December, 2023. In August, the government imposed a 40% duty on the export of onions to improve supplies of the staple vegetable in the domestic market until 31 December, 2023.

With rising onion prices, the central government has been releasing the staple vegetable from its buffer stock. The central government had earlier decided to maintain 300,000 tonnes of onions in the 2023-24 season as buffer. In 2022-23, the government maintained a 251,000-tonne onion as buffer stock and started rabi onion procurement last week for the 2024-25 season as against the normal of June. The government aims to procure 500,000 tonnes of onion in the 2024-25 rabi season.

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