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UAE: Will onion prices decrease as India lifts ban on exports?

United Arab Emirates

Food & Beverages


Onion prices in the UAE are expected to drop in the coming weeks after India announced lifting a ban on the exports. Vendors in the UAE are hoping that India’s decision will ease shortage of the commodity in the market. Onion has been selling at over Dh6 per kg in the local hypermarkets after India put restrictions on exports last year. The prices had risen to as high as Dh9 per kg, but then India permitted exports to the UAE, which helped bring down the prices to Dh6.Before India’s export curbs, onion was usually sold for around Dh3-4 per kg. Some hypermarkets and major supermarkets even used to reduce the price up to Dh2 per kg during the weekend promotions. In December, India banned exports of onions till March 31, 2024, which was later extended till further order. However, New Delhi allowed exports to some countries based on their requests. Later, Indian government lifted the ban subject to a minimum export price of $550 per tonne as compared to $800 per tonne late last year.


Retailers in the UAE said that the removal of the ban would help meet the shortage of Indian onions in the market. Onion is one of the most commonly consumed commodities among Asian and Arab nationals. Dr Dhananjay Datar, chairman and managing director of Adil Group of Supermarkets, said the “price will drop” but it’s premature to forecast how much it could go down. The UAE is one of the largest importers of onions from India. Kamal Vachani, group director and partner at Al Maya Group UAE, expects a “significant drop” in onion prices in the UAE market after the lifting of the ban. “The decision by India, one of the world’s largest onion producers, is expected to alleviate the shortage and subsequently impact prices globally.” While advising consumers to watch out for potential market fluctuations, Vachani said weekend promotions might see prices drop even further.