Economics & Business Indo-Pak Affairs

Pakistani onion export kicks off on back of delayed Indian crop

KARACHI: Onion export from Pakistani has kicked off while the delayed Indian crop and bumper Sindh crop in Pakistan has provided opportunity to exporters to make best use of the occasion, market sources said here Tuesday. In the absence of Indian onion crop, Pakistani exporters are expecting to make windfall financial gains and Indian importers for the first time had to place orders with Pakistani exporters to fulfill their domestic requirements.

Huge quantity of Pakistani onion not only finding their way in the Indian markets through Wahga border, but other countries regarded as traditional importers of Pakistani vegetable including Gulf States, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Bangladesh have also placed orders.

A large quantity of Sindh onion was devastated by torrential rain during the month of July and August 2010 resulting in its acute shortage in the country as the province alone caters to domestic requirements from October to March. Ruining of the crop spread over large areas of Sindh not only resulted in sharp increase in rates of onion from September onwards but also forced the government to allow its import from India to bridge the deficit issue and wresting increasing price trend.

One of the negative aspects of increasing export demand of the onion registered in the wholesale and retail markets was sharp surge in its rates during the last 15 days severely squeezing buying capacity of overwhelming segment of consumers.

Haji Shahjahan president Wholesale Vegetable Welfare Association Sabzi Mandi, Karachi termed the start of onion export as major encouragement reports for the exporters and growers of the country alike.

One month delayed arrival of Indian onion crop has spelled financial boom for the country’s exporters which earlier had lost hope in this regard mainly owing to devastating impact of thunderous rain on standing onion crop during current years’ monsoon season. However, a divine help created opportunities for the exporters in the face of non- availability of Indian crop in the international market specially those of the region and for next one month the Pakistani exporters to their best advantage would exploit the situation.

The only disadvantage regarding start of onion export was its sky rocketing rates which had negative impact on helpless consumers as compared to 2 to 3 weeks old rates of Rs1,200 to Rs1,300 per 40 kg, it has jumped to the level of Rs1,700 to Rs1,800 per 40 kg. In retail terms, it is available to domestic consumers at whooping price of Rs60 to Rs65 per kg while at wholesale level at Rs45 to Rs50 per kg.
Input from Agencies

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Haroon Akram Gill

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