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Egypt postpones decision to stop export of onions, leading to market confusion

The Ministry of Trade and Industry announced it had postponed the implementation of a decision to stop the export of onions for a period of three months until the beginning of October.

The announcement caused confusion in the markets, as the price of a ton of onions decreased by about LE 5,000, while prices varying in retail with per kilogram ranging from LE 22 to LE 30.

A source within the Ministry of Trade and Industry explained that the decision to postpone the decision came as a continuation of contracts for Egypt’s exports of onions, especially with the end of the crop’s export season approaching.

The decision to stop the export of onions will enter into force immediately upon the issuance of the minister’s decision, scheduled to be issued within days.

Onion prices in the wholesale market fell by about LE5,000 per ton, to between LE15,000-20,000.

Data from the Agricultural Crops Export Council revealed an increase in onion exports, recording 525,000 tons.

The value of last export season’s exports amounted to about US$178 million during the first nine months of the export season from September 2022 until May 2023.

Official reports from the Ministry of Agriculture explained that the rise in onion prices is due to the decrease in cultivated areas, and a rise in Egyptian exports of onions in conjunction with increased demand for local consumption.

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