The government today raised the minimum price for exporting onion by $55 to an average of $275 a tonne for September to step up availability of the commodity in domestic markets.
"The Minimum Export Price (MEP) has been increased by $55 a tonne for September 2010 after three months," said a senior official with agri-cooperative Nafed, which is the government's agency to regulate onion export.
After the hike, the MEP stands at $275 a tonne. Between June-August, the government had kept the MEP unchanged at $220 a tonne, he said.
The official further said, "The MEP was increased because of sharp surge in prices of export-quality onion by Rs 200 per quintal in last one month."
The high MEP may bring down export further, thereby raising domestic supply, he noted.
At present, the prices of export-quality onion are ruling high at Rs 800-900 per quintal, against Rs 600-700 per quintal in the last month, he added.
According to the official data, India exported 10.43 lakh tonnes of onions, worth Rs 1,141 crore, in the first six months of the current year.
Nafed, along with 13 other agencies involved in onion export, decides the MEP every month.
No export can take place below the MEP and all contracts are registered with the Nafed.