Philippines to extend halt of onion imports, farm ministry says


MANILA (Reuters): The Philippines will extend the suspension of onion imports until at least July because there is ample supply and prices are stable, Agriculture Minister Francisco Tiu Laurel said in a statement on Monday.

The farm ministry first suspended onion imports in January until May to protect domestic farmers.

Laurel on Monday also said the agency is set to extend the existing importation ban on onion as the supply of the agricultural product remains stable.

The ministry earlier projected onion harvest output of 89,384.99 metric tons (MT) from April to June, higher than the 84,903.99 MT recorded in the same period last year.

"We will extend the ban in onion importation. Cold storages in onion-producing areas are full. The prices in the market are low), so there’s no reason to import,” Laurel said in an interview during the flag raising ceremony held at DA Central Office.

Laurel said the supply of onion may be enough until July this year.

Since being appointed as department chief, Laurel said he monitors the prices of agricultural products in different public markets around the country.

“The price of onion is good. In Balintawak, my latest figures are PHP60, PHP70/kg for red onions, white onion is at PHP60. When I entered DA, it was PHP140, PHP120 at that time, so it's stable,” he said.

Laurel assured that DA would reactivate onion importation “only if needed,” or when they monitor a spike in prices.

According to a recent demand survey by the Philippine Statistics Authority, a Filipino consumes an average of 2.341 kilograms of onions per year.

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Philippines , Continue , Halting , Onions , Import , enough , Local stock

   

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