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No More Tears In Trading Onions!

Onions are a staple vegetable with a distinct significance in almost every global cuisine. Also known as a ‘common onion’ or ‘bulb onion’, these underground fleshy bulbs are packed with intense flavor, provide restorative benefits, and aid in creative home hacks. Onion import export data displays that the world just can’t get enough onions!

The onion is famed for bringing tears to anyone’s eyes. This is due to its sulfur-rich volatile oil that oozes on chopping or even peeling the outer covering. And let’s not forget about onions utilised in medicinal and curative capacities to heal various ailments. Mixed in potions and pastes, onions are attributed to bettering colds, and soothing wounds and animal bites.

In cultivation for centuries, onions grow profusely in India, China and Middle Eastern countries due to their temperate weather and rich soil content. Romans worshiped this bulb for its unique shape and internal ring-like structures. At some point, they were also used as currency in trade negotiations.

The Trade Vision is a premier data provider and market intelligence company with decades of import-export experience. Access our data on the go with comprehensive reports from over 100 countries.


Product Overview

Onions are categorized as herbaceous biennial plants in the Amaryllis family. It is seen as a vital ingredient in cuisines all over the world in dishes such as stews, roasts, grills, soups, and salads. What it lacks in nutrition, it makes up with its strong pungent flavour and a hint of sweetness when used precisely. There are roughly 20 odd varieties of onions around the world with unique tastes and features including shallots, green onions and Spanish sweet onions.

Given the ideal climate conditions, ample resources and agricultural land, India was the leading producer of onions around the world at $94.4M. Countries like New Zealand and Mexico were close competitors in this vegetable production at $33.5M and $32.4M respectively. The 2021 export data ranked onions at a whopping $7.53B.

Export Analysis

Unsurprisingly, China reigns as the biggest exporter of this vegetable at $2.58B. This underground bulb can vary in size, shape, color, and pungency depending on the external climate. Countries like Spain, Mexico, and India exhibit a superior habitat needed to grow and store this crop at its best quality. Exports of onions also open up agricultural employment opportunities and boost supply chains.

Top Exporting Countries (2021)

  1. China ($2.58 billion)
  2. Netherlands ($914 million)
  3. Spain ($697 million)
  4. Mexico ($473 million)
  5. India ($471 million)

Import Analysis

Countries with unsuitable temperatures to produce onions such as the US rely on importing onions from Asian countries. On the other hand, East Asian countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam import heavily to bring depth and richness to their cooking and culture. Owing to its ability to battle through harsh weather, the bulb is used to its full capacity in various forms.

Top Importing Countries (2021)

  1. United States ($777M)
  2. Indonesia ($617M)
  3. Vietnam ($482M)
  4. Germany ($450M)
  5. Malaysia ($332M)

What to Expect

Onions are one of the most versatile vegetables but reflect fluctuating trading patterns. Like any agricultural product, onion trading is impacted by weather fluctuations, economic circumstances and customer trends. Investing in this underground bulb can be a gamble. You can keep track of the trade momentum with us. At the end of the day, onions are a vital food commodity that will remain in demand for centuries to come.