India Is the World’s Top Supplier of Dry Onions Plant Propagation August 02, 2015
Author: Olga Minchina
Account Manager

Low in calories and rich in dietary fiber and vitamin C, onions have always enjoyed strong consumer attention. Dry onions are produced across the globe in more than 134 countries. The largest dry onion producers are China, India and the U.S., together responsible for nearly half of all dry onions produced in the world.

India dominated in global dry onion production and trade. In 2013, India exported 0.2% of its total dry onion output. Of this amount, 14.3% was supplied into Germany, where dry onions held a 1.4% share of total Germany's consumption.

The onion is an integral element of traditional Indian cuisine. In India, onions are cultivated throughout the year primarily in the west, north and south. However, despite high production volumes, India lags behind in onion productivity or yield due to its inferior irrigation systems, small land holding, poor cultivation techniques, low amount of fertilizers, high post-harvest losses, and a lack of well-developed storage facilities.

Approximately 80% of India's onion drying units are situated in Mahuva. Dry onions are mostly consumed domestically, and an expansion of the fast food culture there is expected to lead dry onion domestic consumption in India to meteoric growth in the medium term.

In 2013, India and the U.S. were the main global suppliers of dry onions with a combined share of 38.4% of global exports. However, the fastest growing suppliers from 2007 to 2013 were Ecuador (+219% per year) and Tanzania (+123% per year). Despite being the largest global producers of onions, India, China and the U.S. did not export much of their production, meaning that it was domestically consumed. Pakistan significantly strengthened its position in the global export structure, from 0.9% in 2007 to 14.5% in 2013.

Germany (14.2%), the United Kingdom (9.7%), Malaysia (6.0%), the Netherlands (5.8%) and the Russian Federation (4.7%) were the leading destinations of dry onion imports in 2013, together making up 34.6% of global imports. The share of Malaysia increased significantly (+4.2 percentage points), while the share of Germany illustrated negative dynamics (-3.6 percentage points). The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analyzed period.

In the U.S., onions are grown for commercial purposes in more than 20 states. California produces the largest share of the U.S.'s onions, followed by Georgia, New Mexico and Washington. The predominant type of onion cultivated in the U.S. is the white onion with high solid content. This onion type is grown mostly for drying. The U.S. onion industry is characterized by strong food safety systems and controls.

Chinese dry onions can be either yellow or white. Overall, the Chinese onion has a more delicate and less intense flavor to onions produced in the U.S and other countries. The majority of the exported Chinese dry onions are of the yellow variety, with the U.S. as its main destination. The smaller amount of white dry onions available are really not a match for its U.S. counterpart in terms of flavor. Due to local demand for fresh and processed onions in China, dry onion supplies are not plentiful.

Source: World: Onions (Dry) - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast To 2020