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Sri Lanka Turns to Pakistan for Onion Amidst India’s Curb on Exports

After India extended restrictions on the outbound shipments of onions until March 31, 2024, Sri Lanka has turned to Pakistan for the import of this essential item but the prices remain high leaving consumers in the lurch, a spokesman said.   

Big onion imported from Pakistan is sold at Rs.400 a kilo at the wholesale level. The Indian government sought to ensure supply in the local market by curbing exports. 

The Indian government had introduced a minimum export price (MEP) of US $800 per tonne on onion exports from October 28 until December 31 this year.   
Sri Lanka depends on India for the import of onion. A spokesman for the Essential Food Commodities Importers and Traders Association told Daily Mirror that importers had begun placing orders for shipments from Pakistan as the next best option.  

“In Pakistan, a tonne costs nearly US $ 1000. We have to sell onion at Rs.400 a kilo in the local market. There is no other alternative import for us. In the Netherlands, it costs even more. 

There are restrictions in importing from Iran and Egypt because of curbs,” he said. 

India’s curb is aimed at containing inflation in that country ahead of the Lok Sabha election next year.   

Sri Lanka imports around 20,000 tonnes of onion for a month for local consumption. Onion is cultivated in Sri Lanka but the production is sufficient only for the requirement of one or two months. During the last couple of years, local cultivation was severely affected due to the fertilizer crisis with farmers increasingly abandoning it.     

Source : DailyMirror