CAIRO: Dr Saad Musa, chairman of the Central Administration for Agricultural Quarantine of the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, reported that the country’s onion exports so far this year have increased significantly compared to 2014, with the trend expected to continue.
This prospect is backed by the results achieved during the first five months of 2015, when a 19% increase has been recorded, reaching a record 221 thousand tonnes, compared to 180 thousand tonnes in the same period last year. This has been mainly the result of India opening its doors to the Egyptian product.
He explained that six countries accounted for 80% of all Egyptian onion exports during the first five months of 2015, with the European Union and Russia receiving 107 thousand tonnes (48% of the total) and three Arab countries: Saudi Arabia, Syria and Lebanon, importing 71 thousand tonnes (32%). The remaining 20% went to 53 other countries.
The chairman of the Central Administration for Agricultural Quarantine said that Russia took the first place, with about 78 thousand tonnes, followed by Saudi Arabia, with 47 thousand tonnes, the Netherlands, with 18 thousand tonnes, and Syria, with 16,000 tonnes. The UK was fifth in the ranking, with about 11 thousand tonnes, while Lebanon came in sixth place with about 8 thousand tonnes.
Egypt expects onion exports to have doubled by the end of this year, following the opening of the Indian market, which will demand 70 thousand tonnes by the end of the year, pointing out that only last week 2.2 thousand tonnes were shipped to this destination. India started demanding Egyptian onions after the deterioration of its domestic production this season because of climate changes.
In the Egyptian domestic market, the price per tonne of onions has arrived to 1,100 pounds*, compared with the usual 700 pounds; an increase of 37%. Meanwhile, the export price per tonne stands at 1,500 pounds.