Onion glut spurs halt to imports

Onion glut spurs halt to imports

An Onion Expansion Program, seen as a strategic response to high commodity prices, was launched in Mindanao, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Saturday.


The Department of Agriculture (DA) temporary halted the importation of onions until May in a bid to stop the nosedive in onion prices due to a supply glut.

Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. said in a statement that the oversupply of onions was due to the fresh harvest and the late arrival of imports made in December.


Laurel met with representatives of the Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc. (Pcafi) and determined that the supply glut was due to the arrival between Jan. 1 and Jan. 15 of 99 tons of onions imported in December.


Pcafi told Laurel their group expects a supply surplus since an additional 40 percent of land area was planted to onions and this situation is imminent despite armyworm infestations hitting some parts of Tarlac and Nueva Ecija.

READ: DA allots P326M for onion industry in 2023

The DA and Pcafi agreed to meet every 45 days to review the supply situation and recalibrate the importation schedule and volume, with the next meeting scheduled for early March.

In a statement on Friday, the DA said the harvest of more onions in February could further pull down farm-gate prices of onion, which already declined to a level of P50 to P70 per kilogram as of January this year.

In Nueva Ecija, which accounts for 97 percent of onion production in Luzon, the farm-gate price slipped to as low as P20 per kg.

This scenario forced the DA to temporarily halt the entry of onion imports until May “to prevent further depressing onion prices due to supply glut” and hinted the suspension could be extended to July.

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TAGS: Department of Agriculture, onions

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