New Delhi, India (BBN)– Indian government has reduced the minimum export price (MEP) of onion by US$ 150 per tonne with prices of the kitchen staple moderating.

The MEP for onion, the floor price below which exports are not allowed, has been reduced to $700 per tonne from $850 fixed in November, as per the commerce ministry, reports PTI.

Onion MEP was scrapped in December 2015 but brought back in November 2017 with an aim to check rising prices which were ruling at Rs 50-65 per kg in most cities.

The MEP of $850 was applicable till January 20.

“Export of onion…shall be permitted only on Letter of Credit (LC) subject to a Minimum Export Price (MEP) of USD 700” per tonne till February 20, the ministry said in a notification.

About 40 per cent of India’s total onion crop is produced in the kharif season, and the rest during the rabi season. The kharif crop, however, cannot be stored.

Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Gujarat are the major onion producing states.