In Uzbekistan, onion prices have increased significantly while the stock was frozen owing to unusual frosts. A temporary ban on the export of onions was established for a period of 4 months, beginning on 1st January 2023, in order to lower the cost of the domestic market, meet consumer demand, and ensure food security in the republic.
As per preliminary estimates, the population of Uzbekistan would require an average of 346,000 tonnes of onion between 20th January’ 23 and 30th April’ 23 and the consumer market would require another 26,500 tonnes.
As per the press service of Uzbekistan’s Agriculture Ministry, 1.2 million metric tonnes (MMT) were allocated for consumption by the population, 203,000 tonnes sent for exports, 93,200 tonnes were allocated for reserves, 210,000 tonnes sent to catering and processing enterprises and the losses due to natural factor amounted to 228,000 tonnes.
The Dekhkan Market
However, due to disruptions in the agricultural product supply chain, there is a rush for this kind of product in some dekhkan markets, which drives up the price. As of now, according to research into the dekhkan markets in the republic, onions typically sell for between 6,000 and 8,000 soums at retail and 5,500 to 6,500 soums at wholesale.
On 9th January 2023, the country’s Ministry of Agriculture sent recommendations gathered from scientists and specialists to the regional administrations to protect agricultural products from the cold and maintain quality of the commodities. However, due to low reported temperatures, onions stored in outdoor dekhkan markets froze (freezing temperature is -5 degrees) and as a result, the volume of production decreased.
Reasons As Per The Report
As per the preliminary report “The main reason for this is a sharp cold snap. So, from 9th to 17th of January 2023, the average air temperature ranged from -13 to -22 degrees. There were interruptions in the fuel and energy complex, the system of logistics and transport of products”.
The Ministry of Agriculture stated, “At the same time, in our southern regions, early onion varieties have been cultivated since spring. According to calculations, if the seeds planted in Surkhandarya and Kashkadarya regions yield in accordance with the plan, there will be no shortage and the demand of the population will be fully covered. At present, in our country, not only onions, but also all the main types of agricultural products are harvested and stored in the prescribed manner. Based on the balance of supply and demand, systematic work is underway to release these stocks to the dekhkan markets of our country”.
The Ministry concluded with, “The government commission is taking the necessary measures to ensure uninterrupted supplies and prevent price increases.” It is emphasized that all responsible persons are working according to the plan in this regard.