MMTC to buy 11,000tn onions from Turkey as prices soar

Onion prices remain high across the major cities of the country as the average selling price ruled at Rs 75 per kg on Saturday (November 30) while the maximum rate of Rs 120 per kg was recorded in Mayabunder. PTI photo

Onions from Egypt and Turkey could soon make it to your kitchen as the Centre has issued import orders of the bulb as retail prices hit the roof on account of short supply.

Onions were retailing at Rs 90 per kg in the national capital forcing many families to forego the kitchen staple.

Reports also had it that some hotels in Bengaluru have taken the popular Irulli Dosa off the menu given the high prices of onions.


On Sunday, the government announced that the state-owned trading firm Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation (MMTC) had placed orders for importing 11,000 tonnes of onions from Turkey to boost supply in domestic markets.

MMTC has already placed an order for 6,090 tonnes of onions from Egypt.

Prices of onions were ruling high owing to damage to the early kharif crop of the bulb due to unseasonal rain in states such as Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Official estimates pegged the losses at up to 60% of the entire early kharif crop.

The lingering rain also delayed the sowing for the late kharif crop, which is expected to hit the markets some time in January.

Onions from Egypt are expected to reach the Jawaharlal Nehru Port at Nhava Sheva near Mumbai by mid-December.

The imported onions will be made available to state government at Rs 52-55 per kg ex-Mumbai and Rs 60 per kg ex-Delhi. The consignments from Turkey are expected to reach the country by January.

Consumer Affairs Minister Ramvilas Paswan informed the Lok Sabha that the government had banned exports of onions and imposed stock limits across the country to boost availability of the bulb in domestic markets.

“We are making maximum efforts to keep onion prices under control, but who can win with nature,” Paswan told reporters last week when asked about the rising onion prices.

Centre has also constituted a Group of Ministers chaired by Home Minister Amit Shah with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Paswan, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar as members to monitor the prices of onions and ensure availability in the markets.


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