Indian Government Eases Onion Export Restrictions, Allows Shipments to Bangladesh and UAE

Modalities for onion exports to Bangladesh will be coordinated by the National Cooperative Exports Limited (NCEL) in consultation with the Department of Consumer Affairs, ensuring a streamlined process conducive to efficient trade relations

In a move to address the needs of neighboring countries and balance domestic supply concerns, the Indian government has announced the allowance of significant onion exports to Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

This decision, coming amidst restrictions on onion exports, signals a strategic response to the evolving dynamics of global trade and regional demand.


The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) disclosed that India will export 50,000 tonnes of onions to Bangladesh and 14,400 tonnes to the UAE.

Notably, for exports to the UAE, a quarterly ceiling of 3,600 tonnes has been established, emphasizing cautious management of outbound shipments.

Modalities for onion exports to Bangladesh will be coordinated by the National Cooperative Exports Limited (NCEL) in consultation with the Department of Consumer Affairs, ensuring a streamlined process conducive to efficient trade relations.

This move follows India’s earlier imposition of restrictions on onion exports, including a temporary prohibition from early December 2023 until March 2024.

Additionally, the government had imposed a 40% duty on onion exports in August, aimed at stabilizing prices and augmenting domestic supplies until December 31, 2023.

Furthermore, the central government implemented a Minimum Export Price (MEP) of $800 per tonne for onion exports starting October 29, with a notable exemption for the export of ‘Bangalore rose onion.’


This variety, distinguished by its Geographical Indication tag, was exempted from export duty, subject to exporters obtaining certification from the Horticulture Commissioner, Government of Karnataka.

The decision to ease onion export restrictions underscores the government’s commitment to balance domestic requirements with international obligations, leveraging India’s position as a key onion-producing nation.

The buffer stock maintained by the central government, comprising 300,000 tonnes for the 2023-24 season, serves as a crucial mechanism to address market fluctuations and stabilize prices during lean supply seasons.

Rabi onion, harvested from April to June, plays a pivotal role in meeting 65% of India’s onion production, bridging the gap until the Kharif crop is harvested in October-November.

This seasonal cycle highlights the importance of strategic planning and policy interventions to ensure a steady supply of onions, a staple vegetable in Indian households.

The decision to allow onion exports to Bangladesh and the UAE reflects a nuanced approach by the Indian government, balancing the interests of domestic consumers with the demands of international trade partners.

As global markets continue to evolve, such measures underscore India’s adaptability and resilience in navigating complex economic landscapes while maintaining food security and fostering diplomatic relations.


This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

Tariq Saeed


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