India has prohibited the export of all varieties of onion except those which are in cut, sliced or powder form.

“The export of all varieties of onion is prohibited with immediate effect,” India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade said in a notice on Monday.

The ban includes Bangalore rose onions and Krishnapuram onions. These varieties of onion were free for export till now, reports citing The Economic Times report.

“Rates have increased and there is a shortage of onion in the domestic market. While this shortage is seasonal, a huge amount of exports were done in the last few months during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said an official aware of the development.

India exported $198 million of onions in the April-June period of FY21 and $440 million in the entire 2019-20.

Bangladesh, Malaysia, the UAE and Sri Lanka are the top importers of Indian onions.

India in 2019 banned the exports of the key kitchen staple in the wake of its rising prices in the country and set the minimum export price (MEP) of onion at $850 a tonne to curb its shipments and help bring down soaring prices in the domestic market due to floods in parts of major growing states of Maharashtra and Karnataka.