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India bans onion exports as prices treble in a month

A worker of a retail chain pushes a trolley loaded with onion bags at Manchar village in Pune, India, November 11, 2019. REUTERS/Rajendra Jadhav/File Photo

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India on Monday prohibited exports of onion, the government said in a notification, as prices trebled in a month after excessive rainfall hit crops in southern states.

The export of all varieties of onion was prohibited with the immediate effect, the government said.

India is the world’s biggest exporter of onions, a staple of South Asian cooking. Countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Malaysia and Sri Lanka rely on Indian shipments.

Wholesale prices in India’s largest onion trading hub, Lasalgaon in the western state of Maharashtra, have nearly trebled in a month to 30,000 rupees ($408.52) per tonne.

Excessive rainfall in India’s southern states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh has damaged summer-sown crop and delayed harvesting in other states, said Ajit Shah, president of the Mumbai-based Onion Exporters’ Association.

Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; Editing by Alex Richardson