Onion sellers in a market
Onion prices surged to set a new record of Rs 130/kg at the Lasalgaon mandi this year because of around 30 per cent crop damage following floods in Maharashtra and other major growing states. While arrivals of the kharif onion were delayed by around two months and the quantity declined sharply, more than required soil moisture because of the late-season rainfall hit rabi sowing prospects.
The 3rd Advanced Estimates project India’s annual onion output
at 23.5 mt for 2018-19. The availability of the bulb for 2019-20 may decline to 16.5 mt. Considering 10 per cent of spoilage and wastage, total tradable onion stands at 14.85 mt for 2019-20. The data compiled by Apeda shows India’s onion exports at around 3mt for 2018-19. This means India’s onion consumption stands at around 19 mt.
This will result in a deficit of around 4 mt, even if the government continues with the export ban for one year from now.
Meanwhile, the government’s plan to import around 17,000 tonnes of onion is insufficient to meet the deficit. Experts believe rising prices may encourage farmers to bring in additional area for rabi season, which may boost onion output.