Onions from Afghanistan, Egypt may bring down prices by 20 per cent
More than 350 tonne of onions have arrived through Pakistan’s Wagah border to Attari in Punjab said an official at the Attari Post.
Mumbai-based traders said a few containers had arrived from Egypt, and China crop was also expected to arrive in the coming days. Further, harvesting is expected to pick up across Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, giving a much-needed respite to consumers.
More than 350 tonne of onions have arrived through Pakistan’s Wagah border to Attari in Amritsar district of Punjab said an official at the Attari Integrated Check Post. He said that the Afghanistan-origin onions with SAFTA certificate of origin and Pakistan transit certificate have started arriving since September 6. “Daily over 4-7 trucks are arriving. Indian traders have contracted the produce at Rs18-20 a kg,” said the official. There was no import duty on the commodity said officials.
Diplomats at the Embassy of Afghanistan in New Delhi said that more onions were expected to arrive from Afghanistan through the Punjab border post. “We might even get some onion shipments through the Iranian port of Shah Bahar to Indian port,” said Zubair Juenda, information and media secretary at the embassy. He said that the new crop was coming from the Bamiyan, Herat and Maidan Wardak region, and was expected to bolster the bilateral relations between the two countries. Onion exporters at Mumbai said that prices were soon going to correct.
“We see a price correction of 20% in onions. Over 6 containers of 28-29 tonne each have arrived and more than 50 containers from China will soon hit the market,” said Ajit Shah, president, Onion Exporters Association. He said the landed cost of the imported Egypt onion was Rs35 a kg.
In Amritsar, traders said that it is for the first time that onion was arriving from Afghanistan. “In my 25 years of trading, I am handling for the first time onion crop from Afghanistan. The quality is good and prices are very less, compared to Nashik crop. This will benefit Indian consumers,” said Anil Mehra, owner of the Kabul Trading Company at Amritsar.
On Monday, arrival of two onion trucks from Amritsar at Azadpur mandi brought not only onions but also hope of good business for trade. “With prices in retail at Rs 60-70 a kg, the demand had fallen. Now it will be revived,” said a trader who did not want to be named.
In wholesale trading, the Nashik crop across Azadpur mandi and Amritsar mandi was ruling at Rs40-45 a kg said traders. “I have ordered for 50 trucks (one truck = 20 tonne). Supplies are slow and less from Nashik and this new crop from Afghanistan will help in mitigating this problem,” said Mahinder Sanpal, a leading onion trader from the Azadpur mandi. Summer crop onion (stored in month of April) was being quoted atRs48-50 a kg Lasalgaon mandi in Nashik District of Maharashtra. “10-12 trucks are only going to the Delhi market with more demand from Mumbai and Kolkatta,” said CB Holkar, Vice-President of the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation.
He added that more arrivals from Afghanistan, Egypt and China, and domestic kharif crop would reduce prices.