At a meeting called by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, traders assured officials that fears of foreign pests and disease impacting domestic onion crops due to relaxed phytosanitary norms were unfounded.
According to traders, onion imports will be feasible till end of January.
Traders said they had not foreseen such an acute scarcity of onion, which happened mainly because of heavy rain. They said farmers were harvesting pre-mature onion to benefit from present high rates. Though onion prices are at their historic highs, it has barely helped many farmers recover past year's losses and get decent returns this year.
In October, 2.5 million quintal onions arrived in the markets, down from 5.1 million quintals last year.
The quantity of sugar produced per tonne of sugarcane, called sugar recovery, will decline substantially, according to millers.
The survey tried to answer three burning questions in front of the global sugar industry, which include the anticipated Indian sugar production during 2019/ 20, the anticipated exports from country and anticipated sugar production of Thailand.
However, mills in Uttar Pradesh, the top sugar-producing state, are not keen on converting old stocks to ethanol. In Maharashtra, they are undecided about the benefits of the scheme, even though the state’s sugar industry had pushed for permission to convert old sugar into ethanol.
Retail rates of best quality onion have been ruling above Rs 100/kg in most cities of south India and close to Rs 100/kg in north India.
The high temperatures and heat waves of the current year are expected to have a role in reducing the winter chill. "Normally, a year after the El Nino event becomes one of hotter temperatures. The hottest year of 2016 was preceded by one of the strongest El Nino events of 2015," said M Rajeevan.
The highest price of onion, normally fetched by only a few quintal onions, was Rs 82 per kg at Pimpalgaon Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC), India’s largest onion market. The lowest price of the day for good quality onion was Rs 45 per kg while it was Rs 22 per kg for inferior quality, rain damaged onion.
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