New Delhi: With onion prices continue to be high, the government on Monday said the minimum export price (MEP) of USD 850 per tonne would be applicable on shipments of the commodity till January 20.
In November, the government had imposed MEP to increase domestic supplies and check rising prices. MEP, which is the benchmark price below which no shipments can take place, was applicable till December 31.
"Export of all varieties of onions will be allowed only on letter of credit subject to a minimum export price of USD 850 per tonne till January 20 this year," the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has said in a notification.
Retail onion prices are ruling at about Rs 40-45 per kg in most cities. The prices have shot up due to tight domestic supplies. Supplies got exhausted as large quantity of exports were undertaken in the first four months of the current fiscal.
The country exported 1.2 million tonnes in April-July of this fiscal, up by 56 per cent from the year-ago period. Also, the new 2017-18 kharif crop -- which is being harvested -- is expected to be less owing to fall in acreage.
About 40 per cent of the country's total onion crop is produced in the kharif season, and the rest during the rabi season.
The kharif crop, however, cannot be stored. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Gujarat are the major onion producing states.