Traders to resume onion export as prices drop 50pc

ISLAMABAD: Exporters on Tuesday decided to resume the export of onions keeping in view the reduction in prices and market stability after the arrival of a full crop of onion from Sindh.

The association has written a formal letter to the Ministry of National Food Security and Research in this regard.

The Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) had imposed a self-ban from Nov 3 to curb the harvesting of premature onions for export.

They had earlier voluntarily stopped exporting onions due to rising demand in the domestic market and increasing prices.

On Nov 20, the PFVA, after analysing the supply and price of onion in the market, had called a meeting with exporters and decided to resume exports from November 27 whereas the decision was also intimated to the Department of Plant Protection.

The price of onion which was Rs2,800 per maund prior to the self-imposed ban has now dropped to Rs1,200 to 1,300 per maund after the arrival of good onion crops of Sindh in the market.

According to PFVA Head Waheed Ahmed, matured and fully ready crops would be available soon as a result of temporarily discontinuing onion exports.

He assured that not only will the price of onion remain stable in the local market now, hoarding would also be eliminated, while farmers would be motivated to harvest again by getting good prices for their produce.

Traditionally, if the growers sustain financial loses in one crop during a year, they do not harvest the same next year.

According to the exporters, Pakistan has a window of opportunity to export onions in the international market for an additional month, during which they could generate valuable foreign exchange for the country by taking advantage of the surplus volume of the vegetable.

Opportunities to export the Pakistani onion would be limited after one month as the Indian onion would also be available in the international market by that time.

It is pertinent to mention that the PFVA has also appealed to the Ministry of National Food Security and Ministry of Commerce to the import of onion and potato from Iran should be banned in the interest of local growers.

Ghulam Abbas
Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]

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