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Pakistan increases onion imports from Uzbekistan

Pakistan started importing onions from Uzbekistan this August due to the huge loss of local crops because of floods, which became catastrophic in 2022. However, the volume of onion shipments from Uzbekistan to Pakistan increased several times in the first two decades of October compared to August and September. One of the main factors in the growth is the decrease in wholesale prices for onions in the domestic market of Uzbekistan, EastFruit experts say.

Monsoon rains accompanied by floods are a common natural phenomenon in South Asian countries. However, they became catastrophic in 2022, affecting all regions of Pakistan. The monsoon season lasts from the second half of June to September there. But the peculiarity of 2022 is the extreme rainfall that started in Pakistan in mid-June. The provinces in the west and south of the country were hardest hit by them, with about 400% more rainfall than the average for the past 30 years.

Rains caused great damage to the Pakistani economy and agriculture, and agricultural producers suffered huge losses due to the loss of many crops. Thus, Pakistan started importing the main types of food, including onions, which are important for the traditional cuisine of the peoples living in the country.

From the beginning of January to the end of July 2022, there were almost no onion exports from Uzbekistan to Pakistan. But the natural disaster has changed the usual trade and Pakistan has been actively importing onions from Uzbekistan since August this year.

According to official statistics, exports of onions from Uzbekistan to Pakistan from the beginning of August to the current date amounted to:

August: 2 300 tonnes,

September: 2 900 tonnes

October (from the 1st to the 20th): 9 700 tonnes.

As can be seen from the data, the volume of onion shipments from Uzbekistan to Pakistan in the first two decades of October 2022 was at least 3.3 times higher than the monthly volumes in August and September and turned out to be 1.8 times more than in total in the previous two months.

One of the main factors for such a sharp increase in the export of Uzbek onions is a significant decrease in their wholesale prices on the domestic market of Uzbekistan in the first half of October 2022. According to EastFruit price monitoring, from October 7 to October 14, 2022, the average wholesale price for onions in Uzbekistan decreased by a third – from 3 000 to 2 000 UZS/kg (from $0.27 to $0.18). However, active demand from exporters pushed prices up again a week later – from October 14 to October 21, 2022, the average wholesale price for onion increased from 2 000 to 2 500 UZS/kg (from $0.18 to $0.22), i.e. by 25%. However, the current average wholesale price is 17% lower than the September average and nearly 40% lower than the August 2022 average.

It should be noted that Pakistan has been the main buyer of Uzbek onions over the past three months, with its share in the total export of onions from Uzbekistan amounting to 70% in August, 79% in September, and 92% in the first two decades of October.

EastFruit

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