Enough onions on the market for now, says Deputy Minister

KUALA LUMPUR: The supply of onions in the Malaysian market at the moment is sufficient and can be sustained, says Fuziah Salleh.

The Deputy Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister said that although the supply of onions has not been affected, the government is trying to get supplies of onions from several other countries to ensure that it remains steady.

"So far there is no problem (onion supply) because we still have old stock and we are also looking for sources from other producing countries besides India.

"I think the existing onion stock will last for a long time because, from the feedback from the industry, they informed that they did not experience any problem in controlling the stock," she told reporters after inspecting the implementation of the Deepavali 2023 Festive Season Maximum Price Scheme (SHMMP) at Lulu Hypermarket here, Thursday (Nov 9).

She was commenting on India's move to limit onion exports by imposing a minimum export price of US$800 (RM3,754) per tonne, effective Oct 29 until the end of this year.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs of India, the measure was taken to ensure a sufficient supply of onions for domestic consumers at reasonable prices following the stocks of onions from the 2023 crop season dropping.

Regarding the allegation that there is a shortage of sugar and subsidised packet cooking oil in the market at the moment, Fuziah said the producers could face action if they do not meet the set production quota.

She said this is because the government gave a production quota of 60,000 metric tonnes for packet cooking oil and 42,000 metric tonnes (sugar) per month to producers to ensure that the supply of both items is not affected.

"So there shouldn't be any shortage (supply of packet cooking oil) because that is the quota we issued to them and even before this, there were people who had run out of quota in less than a month.

"As for refined white sugar, through supply control instructions, we have given a production quota of 24,000 metric tonnes to MSM Malaysia Holdings Bhd (MSM) and 18,000 metric tonnes to Central Sugars Refinery Sdn Bhd (CSR) per month.

"We have not changed anything, so if producers do not meet the quota, then there are implications because we have issued supply control instructions," she said. - Bernama

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