Source says MMTC’s 2,000 tn onion import tender fails to draw bids

Cogencis, Monday, Oct 14

NEW DELHI – MMTC's tender to import 2,000 tn onion failed to get any bids, an official from the state-trade agency said.

The tender to import onion had closed on Thursday, and the agency was seeking the import shipments latest by Oct 31. The government-run corporation had invited bids to import onions from any country after prices of the bulb soared to over 80 rupees a kg in domestic retail markets.

There were no bidders in MMTC's tender as many suppliers were finding it tough to meet the import quality parameters, traders said.

The quality of imported onion is usually inferior to the domestically-produced bulb, they said. 

"The objective of the tender was to control prices (of onion). Now that the new crop from Karnataka has started arriving in the market, prices are almost under control. So, it (the failure to draw bids) wouldn't matter much," said Nitin Jain, a Lasalgaon-based trader. 

Private players, meanwhile, have bought small quantity of onion from Afghanistan, which has tempered domestic prices over the last few days, said an official from Nilesh Trading Co, a Lasalgaon-based trading firm.    

Today, prices of onion at the benchmark market of Lasalgaon averaged at 28 rupees a kg, down by 3 rupees from Friday, according to data from the National Horticultural Research & Development Foundation. Arrivals were pegged at 320 tn today, much lower than 525 tn on Friday.

In Pimpalgaon, another major market, onion was sold today at an average price of 25 rupees per kg, down by 4 rupees from Friday. Arrivals were pegged at 840 tn, as against 1,064 tn from Friday, data from the foundation showed.

Heavy rains in key growing states of Maharashtra and Karnataka disrupted supply, resulting in a sharp rise prices of onion last month.

The government imposed a ban on exports and put a cap on stocks that traders could hold, to keep a check on prices.  End

Reported by Sounak Das

Edited by Akul Nishant Akhoury

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