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High yields of onion contributed to exports

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India lifted the restrictions on onion exports from Friday. The decision comes on the heels of robust kharif crop production in 2024 and favourable monsoon forecasts, coupled with stable market conditions both at the mandi and retail levels.

“All restrictions on onion export have been removed with effect from today,” said Nidhi Khare, Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs, at a press conference in Delhi.

Khare said, “This is basically taking into account the Rabi 2024 production and approved Kharif prospect because of above normal monsoon.” She further added that the decision also factors in “the current market situation which was stable both at Mandi and retail, and also the international availability and prices situation.”

According to official estimates, the Rabi 2024 onion production stands at about 191 lakh tons, which is reasonably comfortable considering the monthly domestic consumption of approximately 17 lakh tons.

The export of onions had been prohibited with effect from December 8, 2023, to increase domestic supply against an estimated 20 percent decline in the Kharif and late Kharif production. The restriction on exports helped the government in maintaining stable prices until the arrival of the Rabi 2024 crop.

The removal of export restrictions is expected to boost India’s onion trade and contribute to the country’s overall economic stability. With favorable crop conditions and ample supply, the move is likely to benefit both domestic consumers and export markets, ensuring steady prices and ample availability of onions in the coming months.

Rabi onions, harvested during April-June, account for 65 percent of India’s onion production and meet consumer demand until the Kharif crop is harvested in October-November.

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