Dec 21, 2010 (LBO) – Prices of onions and leeks in Sri Lanka could rise after India’s decision to suspend exports of onions, a trade official said. Sri Lanka imports 4,000-5,000 tonnes of onions a week from India which supplies about 60 percent of the world requirements of onions. Pettah Wholesale Traders’ Association vice chairman Nihal Seneviratne said 90 percent of Sri Lanka’s onion requirement is imported from India and imports from other origins would be more costly.
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India on Monday suspended exports of onions, a key food staple, after prices of the vegetable soared, adding to the government’s inflation woes.
Sri Lanka might be forced to import from sources like Pakistan, China, Egypt and the Netherlands, Seneviratne told Vimasuma.
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“Pakistani onions are not as good as Indian onions and they spoil quickly,” he said.
“To ship onions from China takes about a month and requires use of a refrigerated container. Therefore, onion imports from these countries will invariably be more expensive than from India.
Even if the government reduces a 10-rupee a kilo import tax on onions retail prices cannot be