Importation of 9,400 MT of onions to stabilize prices
Prices of onions will soon stabilize with the entry of as much 9,400 metric tons of imported white onions. Vegetable retailers had requested for the importation through the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI).
“We were told that the BPI has considered granting us 182 permits to import white onions. Based on the supply timeline, this volume will suffice for the next four months until early December,” Vegetable Importers and Exporters Association (VIEVA) President Leah Cruz said in an interview Wednesday.
As of Wednesday noon, the price of local red onions has risen to P80 per kilo from P65 to P70 per kilo.
Retailers have also warned that prices may soon climb to as much as P100 per kilo due to a scarcity of supply.
Cruz also said that her group wants a secure supply in preparation for the traditional surge in demand in the months of November and December.
She said that onion farmers will conduct an early harvest of mixed red and white onions by December 2012. “By then we’ll be good,” said Cruz.
The permits were approved by the Agriculture Department last week upon endorsement by the Plant Bureau. All importation permits will be issued next week.
Each permit is authorized to bring in 50 metric tons onions. The country will be sourcing imported onions from China, New Zealand and Holland.
Imported onions may arrive in seven days, once the permits are issued.
The vegetable group also has a pending request to import 21,000 MT of white onions for the July to December period.
However, the group said it can make do with the first approved volume as it avoids an oversupply situation that depresses the price of local onions.
The industry said that production in 2012 may decline by 12 percent to 2.77 million bags from 3.15 bags in 2011.
The Industry explained that while the farmgate price is around P35 per kilo, the mark up price of P30 to P35 are due to the added cost of sacks, cold storage fees, trucking fees, sorting and handling fees and a provision for loss due to spoilage, wastage and shrinkage
The Philippines consumes an average of 96,000 MT of onions annually. — DVM, GMA News
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