7 Reasons Why Onion Export is a Lucrative Business in 2024
Onion is one of the most widely consumed vegetables in the world, with a global production of over 100 million tons in 2022. Onion export is also a profitable business, as the demand for this versatile crop is high in many countries. In this article, we will explore seven reasons why onion export is a lucrative business in 2023, and how you can start your own onion export venture.
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1. Onion export is a growing market
According to the World’s Top Exports website, the global value of exported onions rose by an average 18.6% for all exporting countries since 2018, reaching $4.26 billion in 2022. The value of internationally sold onions increased by 5.8% compared to $4.03 billion for 2021. The top five exporters of onions in 2022 were the Netherlands, China, India, Mexico and the United States, accounting for 63.4% of the total exports. The fastest-growing onion exporters since 2021 were Egypt, Canada, Poland and Afghanistan.
2. Onion export is a low-cost business
One of the advantages of onion export is that it does not require a large capital investment or sophisticated equipment. Onions are easy to grow, harvest and store, and they have a long shelf life. Onions can also be transported by sea, air or land, depending on the destination and the urgency of the order. The main costs involved in onion export are the purchase of seeds or bulbs, the cultivation and irrigation of the land, the packaging and labeling of the products, and the freight and customs charges.
3. Onion export is a diversified business
Onion export is not limited to one type of onion or one market. There are different varieties of onions, such as red, white, yellow, green and shallots, each with its own characteristics and uses. Onions can also be exported in different forms, such as fresh, dried, frozen, pickled or processed. Moreover, onions can be exported to different regions and countries, depending on the preferences and needs of the consumers. For example, Asian countries like Sri Lanka and Malaysia are major importers of onions from India, while European countries like Germany and France prefer onions from the Netherlands.
4. Onion export is a value-added business
Onion export can also be a value-added business, meaning that you can increase the profitability of your products by adding some features or services that enhance their quality or appeal. For example, you can offer organic or certified onions that meet certain standards or regulations. You can also offer customized packaging or branding that suits the preferences or requirements of your customers. You can also offer additional services such as quality inspection, delivery tracking or after-sales support.
5. Onion export is a sustainable business
Onion export can also be a sustainable business, meaning that you can minimize the environmental impact of your activities and contribute to social and economic development. For example, you can adopt eco-friendly practices such as using organic fertilizers, reducing water consumption or recycling waste materials. You can also support local farmers and communities by providing them with fair prices, training or employment opportunities.
6. Onion export is a competitive business
Onion export is also a competitive business, meaning that you can differentiate yourself from other exporters by offering superior products or services that meet or exceed the expectations of your customers. For example, you can ensure that your onions are fresh, clean and free from pests or diseases. You can also ensure that your onions are consistent in size, shape and color. You can also ensure that your onions are delivered on time and in good condition.
7. Onion export is a rewarding business
Finally, onion export is a rewarding business, meaning that you can enjoy the benefits of your hard work and dedication. For example, you can earn a good income from your onion export venture. You can also expand your network and establish long-term relationships with your customers and suppliers. You can also gain recognition and reputation in the international market.
How to start your own onion export business
If you are interested in starting your own onion export business in 2023, here are some steps that you need to follow:
- Conduct market research: You need to identify your target market and customers, analyze their needs and preferences, study their import regulations and requirements, assess their demand and supply situation, and evaluate your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.
- Choose your product: You need to decide what type of onion you want to export, what form you want to export it in (fresh, dried etc.), what variety you want to export (red etc.), what quality you want to offer (organic etc.), what packaging you want to use (bags etc.), what labeling you want to apply (brand name etc.), and what price you want to charge.
- Find your supplier: You need to find a reliable and reputable supplier of onions, who can provide you with the quantity and quality that you need, at a reasonable price and within the agreed time frame. You need to establish a contract with your supplier, specifying the terms and conditions of the transaction, such as the payment method, the delivery mode, the quality standards, the inspection procedures, and the dispute resolution mechanisms.
- Obtain your export license: You need to obtain an export license from your country’s authorities, which allows you to export onions to other countries. You need to comply with the export regulations and requirements of your country, such as the documentation, the certification, the taxation, and the inspection.
- Find your buyer: You need to find a potential buyer of onions in your target market, who is interested in your product and willing to pay your price. You need to establish a contract with your buyer, specifying the terms and conditions of the transaction, such as the payment method, the delivery mode, the quality standards, the inspection procedures, and the dispute resolution mechanisms.
- Arrange your shipment: You need to arrange the shipment of your onions from your supplier to your buyer, using a suitable mode of transport (sea etc.), a reliable freight forwarder (DHL etc.), and a secure insurance policy. You need to comply with the import regulations and requirements of your target market, such as the documentation, the certification, the taxation, and the inspection.
- Receive your payment: You need to receive your payment from your buyer, using a safe and convenient method (bank transfer etc.), after confirming that your onions have been delivered and accepted by your buyer. You need to keep track of your income and expenses and maintain proper records and accounts.
Onion Export: A Growing Industry
Onions are one of the most widely consumed vegetables in the world, with an estimated annual production of over 100 million tons. They are also a valuable commodity in international trade, with a global export value of more than 4 billion US dollars in 2022. In this blog post, we will explore some of the trends and statistics of onion export, and how different countries are competing in this growing industry.
The Top Onion Exporters in the World
According to the World’s Top Exports website, the top five onion exporters in 2022 were:
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- Netherlands: US$849.9 million (20% of total exported onions)
- China: $564.9 million (13.3%)
- India: $524.6 million (12.3%)
- Mexico: $437.6 million (10.3%)
- United States: $321 million (7.5%)
These five countries accounted for almost two-thirds of the global onion export market, showing a high concentration of suppliers. The Netherlands was the undisputed leader, with a net export surplus of over 700 million US dollars, meaning that it exported much more onions than it imported. China, India, and Mexico also had positive net export surpluses, while the United States had a negative net export balance of -138.8 million US dollars, meaning that it imported more onions than it exported.
The Fastest Growing Onion Exporters in the World
While the top onion exporters maintained their dominant positions in 2022, some other countries showed remarkable growth rates in their onion export values. According to the same source, the fastest growing onion exporters since 2021 were:
- Egypt: up 53.5%
- Canada: up 49.4%
- Poland: up 47.4%
- Afghanistan: up 45%
Egypt, Canada, and Poland increased their onion export values by nearly 50%, while Afghanistan almost doubled its onion exports in one year. These countries benefited from the rising demand for onions in various regions, such as Asia, Europe, and North America.
The Main Onion Importers in the World
On the other side of the trade equation, there are also countries that import large quantities of onions from other countries. According to Statista, the top five onion importers in 2021 were:
- Malaysia: US$302 million
- Sri Lanka: $287 million
- United States: $460 million
- United Kingdom: $230 million
- Germany: $228 million
These five countries accounted for almost 40% of the global onion import market, showing a high concentration of demand. Malaysia and Sri Lanka were the main destinations for Indian onions, which are known for their pungency and flavor. The United States imported onions mainly from Mexico and Canada, while the United Kingdom and Germany sourced their onions mostly from the Netherlands and Spain.
The Future of Onion Export
The onion export industry is expected to continue growing in the future, as more countries increase their production and consumption of onions. According to Volza, a platform that provides export data and insights, some of the factors that will influence the onion export market are:
- Climate change: Extreme weather events, such as droughts, floods, and heat waves, can affect onion production and quality, leading to fluctuations in supply and prices.
- Pandemic recovery: The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted global trade and logistics, affecting onion exports and imports. As countries recover from the pandemic, they may resume or increase their onion trade activities.
- Consumer preferences: Consumers may demand more variety and quality in their onion choices, such as organic onions, red onions, or shallots. This may create new opportunities for niche markets and value-added products.
Onion export is a dynamic and competitive industry that involves many countries around the world. Onions are not only a staple food for many cuisines, but also a lucrative commodity for international trade. By analyzing the trends and statistics of onion export, we can gain insights into the global onion market and its future prospects.
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