MMTC signs the second onion import order to buy 11,000 tons of Turkey

NEW DELHI: state trading company MMTC , which is importing onion on behalf of the Center, has placed an order for 11,000 tons of edible bulb from Turkey as part of its efforts to boost domestic supply and alleviate high prices, sources said.

This is the second import order placed by the MMTC. The public sector firm is already importing 6,090 tonnes from Egypt.

Last month, the Union Cabinet approved the import of 1.2 lakh tons of onion to improve domestic supply and control prices that have now skyrocketed at Rs 75-120 per kg in major cities. The Center has already banned exports and imposed a stock limit on wholesalers and retailers for an indefinite period.

According to sources, MMTC has contracted 11,000 tonnes of onion imports from Turkey and the consignments are expected in January next year.

The company had placed an order for the first shipment of 6,090 tons of onion from Egypt that will arrive in Nhava Sheva (JNPT), Mumbai, in the second week of this month. Imported onion is offered to state governments for distribution at a rate of Rs 52-55 per kg ex-Mumbai and Rs 60 per kg ex-Delhi.

To monitor onion prices, a Group of Ministers has already been set up, chaired by Interior Minister Amit Shah. The finance minister, the consumer affairs minister, the agriculture minister and the road transport minister are also members of this panel. A Committee of Secretaries (CoS) and the Secretary of Consumer Affairs, Avinash K Srivastava, also constantly reviews the situation.

Onion prices remain high in the main cities of the country, since the average sale price was set at 75 rupees per kg on Saturday (November 30), while the maximum rate of 120 rupees per kg was recorded in Mayabunder , according to the data collected by the consumer Ministry of Affairs.

On November 19, the Minister of Food and Consumer Affairs, Ram Vilas Paswan, said that onion production in the Kharif and late Kharif seasons of 2019-20 is estimated to drop 26 percent to 5.2 million tons .

Onion is a seasonal crop with a harvest period of (March to June), Kharif (October to December) and late-Kharif (January-March). From July to October, the supply in the market comes from the stored onions of the rabi season (sown in winter).

During 2019-20, there was a 3 to 4 week delay in planting, as well as a decrease in the area sown of the kharif onion due to the late arrival of the monsoon. In addition, prolonged and inconvenient rains in the major growing states of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh during the harvest period caused damage to standing crops in these regions, Paswan had said.

It is not in our hands, the government is making maximum efforts, but who can win from nature, he told reporters recently when asked when onion prices will fall to a reasonable level.

According to data from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, the onion is sold at 76 rupees per kg in the national capital, 82 rupees in Mumbai, 90 rupees per kg in Calcutta and 80 rupees per kg in Chennai.

The lowest price of Rs 42 per kg of the bulb was reported by Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh and Vijaywada, the data showed.

The ministry monitors the prices of 22 essential products (rice, wheat, atta, gram dal, tur (arhar) dal, urad dal, moong dal, masur dal, sugar, gur, peanut oil, mustard oil, vanaspati, sunflower, soybean oil). , Palm oil , tea, milk, potatoes, onions, tomatoes and salt) according to data collected from 109 market centers throughout the country.