Friday, December 24, 2010

Pak onions being exported despite bad crops

Pak onions being exported despite bad crops

 KARACHI: Pakistan is exporting onions despite its crop lagged 30 to 40 percent behind demand, causing the prices of the commodity to maintain high level, Geo News reported Wednesday.

Talking to Geo News, the traders at Karachi’s vegetable market said onion annual yield is five to six million tonnes in the country; however, the recent flash floods and downpours played havoc on the crops. The new crop in Sindh alone dropped five to six lakhs of tonnes during the current season.

Despite this bleak outlook, Pakistani traders are still exporting onions to other countries including India on good price. Hundred tonnes of the commodity are being exported to India on daily basis, keeping onion retail price buoyed up at Rs60 per kilogram.
Meantime, India abolished 7 percent custom duty imposed on onion imports to provide people with inexpensive onion.

LAHORE: The export of onion to India first time from Pakistan keep pushing prices of it upwards in the domestic markets as it touched the record level of Rs 100 per kilogram in retail outlets on Wednesday.

However, in India it was being sold art Rs 70 to 80 per kilogram in their local currency. The Pak-Indian rupee disparity is now above Rs 160-100. India also witnessed some onion crop shortfall this year which compelled it to import it from neighbouring Pakistan. Traditionally, India was an exporter of onion and other vegetables, including tomato, garlic and ginger, to Pakistan and presently Pakistani retails markets were already depending on imported Indian ginger.

The local onion crop has already suffered a shortfall of over 20 per cent due to recent devastated flood and the arrival of crop was delayed. Pakistan just one and half month ago was importing onion from India but shortfall of crop there made India an onion-importing country.

Official price figures released by the Directorate of Agriculture (Economic and Marketing), Punjab, show that onion is available at Rs 44 to Rs 46 per kilogram at wholesale level. However, the commodity is selling up to Rs 100 per kilogram in retail markets. Vegetable vendors at Badami Bagh wholesale market said that Punjab was already facing a vegetable shortage of around 30-40 per cent owing to heavy flood this year and vegetable exports to India were further escalating the prices of every-day commodities.

According to customs officials deputed at Wagha Border said that onion export was started from this land route some five days ago. This was also surprising for them that Pakistan was exporting onion to India as before it only imported it and never seen export of it, a customs official there said. He said a good quantity of onion was being transported to India daily and main load of the trade nowadays was at Wagha Border.

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