With India extending the ban on exports of onion until March, next year, Sri Lankan importers are in a quandary to meet the local requirement, a spokesperson said.

India has done so to increase the availability of onion in the domestic market and to keep prices in check. Sri Lanka depends mainly on India for its onion requirement because local production is small.

A spokesperson for the Essential Food Commodities Importers and Traders Association told that importers were exploring alternative suppliers. Sri Lanka imports around 20,000 tonnes of onion every month.

“It is a perishable item. So, we place orders for weekly shipments. It is challenging for us to look to different markets because prices are very expensive,” he said.

A ship was due yesterday.

The price of onion has increased to around Rs.300 a kilo in the local retail market.

-daily mirror