The Government of India has lifted the export ban on onions for Sri Lanka, according to the Indian High Commission in Colombo.

It said the export of onions has been permitted to Sri Lanka, with export of up to 10,000 MT of onions permitted vide the notification of India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade.

The exemption for Sri Lanka reiterated India’s Neighbourhood First policy, adding to the Sinhala and Tamil New Year festivities here, the High Commission said in a statement on Monday.

Last month, India extended its ban on onion exports indefinitely in a surprise move that had exacerbated high prices in some overseas markets.

Imposed by India - the world’s biggest exporter of the vegetable - in December, the ban was due to expire on March 31.

Countries such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Nepal and the United Arab Emirates rely on imports from India to fill domestic gaps in onion supply and many of those nations have struggled with high prices since the ban.

However, it was reported last week that India was planning to supply thousands of metric tons of onion to Sri Lanka and UAE after supplying vast quantities of essential commodities to Maldives.

India on April 3 allowed a supply of additional 10,000 tons of onions over and above its quota to close ally United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the Gulf country is always a priority with New Delhi.

Traders estimate that India accounts for more than half of all onion imports by Asian countries.

India exported a record 2.5 million metric tons of onions in the financial year that ended on March 31, 2023.



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