08 July 1999
India keeps up onion export ban

INDIA said it would only consider lifting its ban on the export of onions after the summer crop is harvested in September and October.

The decision comes in the wake of last years onion crop failure, which saw the government embarrassed as shortages led to high prices for the countrys staple crop.

Only last month, India re-imposed export restrictions to thwart a rise in prices, although trade officials say the government is now being ultra-cautious.

India is expecting a bumper harvest of 4.8 million tonnes, against only 3.6m tonnes in 1998 and 4.3m tonnes in 1997.

China, the Philippines and Thailand are taking advantage of the export ban by developing comparable Indian varieties of onions and grabbing its markets.