PUTRAJAYA, Jan 26 — The price of onions in the country has stabilised, and there is sufficient supply to last until August.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) Minister Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi confirmed this after a visit to a wholesaler in Klang here today.
Among others, the inspection was also to ensure supply of onions was enough to meet demands during the movement control order (MCO) and the upcoming Chinese New Year period, Nanta said.
“During the visit to the wholesaler, the ministry was informed that supply of onions has stabilised and enough for consumers until August,” he said in a statement today.
This is because India, being the main exporter to Malaysia, has recovered from recent flooding and has begun exporting its onions again.
“Malaysia had been largely impacted by India’s move to prohibit the export of all types of onion so as to meet its domestic needs following floods there,” he said.
Nanta said Malaysia imported 489,297 metric tonnes (m/t) of onions last year from 24 countries, namely India (31 per cent), Pakistan (24 per cent), China (22 per cent), Holland (10 per cent ), Thailand (six per cent), New Zealand (three per cent) and other countries (four per cent).
He said the country imported the most from India, totalling 152,519 m/t, as its onions were generally preferred by Malaysians.
Malaysia imports eight types of onions – the small red onion (India), big onion (India), red onion (China), small red onion (China), small red rose onion (India), small red onion (Myanmar); small red onion (Thailand) and big yellow onion (Holland).
The decision to source them from various countries is part of a bigger strategy to ensure supply remains sufficient should one of the export countries face problems such as drought, floods, earthquakes and landslides, which essentially can affect prices, he said. — Bernama