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Import by India pushes up onion rates in Pakistan

Press Trust of India/Chandigarh 21 Dec 10 | 05:43 PM

Rising import of onion by India has flared up prices of the commodity in Pakistan by 25-30 per cent, which would jack up the cost of new import orders from India, traders said today.

"Because of increased import by India, the rates of onion in the domestic markets of Pakistan have also shot up in the range of 25-30 per cent... and these new rates will have bearing on new import orders," Amritsar-based vegetable trader Rajdeep Uppal said.

Vegetable traders imported onion at $400 a tonne (around Rs 18,000 a tonne) from Sindh provision in Pakistan.

"The size of crop in Pakistan is also not very huge... therefore, rising demand from India has pushed up the rates, which will result in higher payment for imported onion," he said. 

After the arrival of 13 truck loads (9 tonne) of onion at Amritsar via Attari-Wagah land route yesterday, 38 trucks carrying fresh consignment of onion today entered Indian territory at Amritsar, official of the Custom Department at Amritsar said.

According to traders, close to 450 tonnes of onion has arrived from Pakistan since yesterday. The landed cost of onion from Pakistan was Rs 18-20 per kg including custom duty, cess, transportation and handling charges, he said.

Though arrival of onion from Pakistan could not rein in commodity prices in local markets of Amritsar, yet the onion from Lahore commanded lesser rates compared with Indian onion.

"Onion from Pakistan was being sold at Rs 36-37 per kg in wholesale market while Indian onion was fetching Rs 45-50 per kg in wholesale market," said Kailash, a vegetable merchant in Amritsar. Majority of commodity supply came from Pakistan was consumed in local market of Amritsar, traders said.

"The quality of imported onion (from Pakistan) was inferior to Indian onion, resulting into getting less prices," he said. 

The prices of onions have soared to Rs 70-80 per kg in retail markets in Delhi and many other important cities of the country from Rs 35-40 just a few days ago.

Onion prices in various Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) in Nashik, the main trading centre for the bulb, have soared to a high of Rs 7,100 per quintal. This was due to shortfall in production following untimely rains in the growing areas of Maharashtra in November.

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