Causes Remain Unknown
Onion price doubled in a week
Published : Thursday, 11 July, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 66
The price of onion - one of the politically sensitive daily essentials generally used in huge quantity during Eid-ul-Azha - has more than doubled in the city's kitchen market and elsewhere in the country as the the Muslim festival is knocking the door.
Local onion sold in the market at Tk 60 per kg as against Tk 28 only a week ago. Mindful of the critical market situation the commerce ministry has called for an urgent meeting of traders and other stakeholders in few days to apprise the situation.
Commerce Secretary Md Mofizul Islam told the Daily Observer, that every year during monsoon season onion prices soars but given the sensitivities of the moment, the meeting has been called to see whether dishonest syndicates are at work to hold the market hostage.
There is no cause for a sudden flare up of onion price, SM Nazer Hossain, Vice-President of the Consumer Association of Bangladesh (CAB) openly complained to The Daily Observer on Wednesday to say syndicates are at work to take the market hostage.
They are closely working to increase price and harvest illegal benefit. Otherwise there is no reason why onion price should be more than doubled in few days time, he maintained. He blamed lack of government monitoring to protect market from evils hands. There is no reason for sudden supply crunch.
Rubel Hossain, an onion trader at the Karwan Bazar said, "The onion price increased in the last four days due to rain and bad weather. At that time, we bought per mound of imported onion from Tk 1700 to 1750 from wholesale market. Price of each kg onion falls between Tk 42 and Tk 45. "We add our cost and sell at Tk 50 kg at the minimum," he said.
On the other hand, local onion was selling between Tk 55 to Tk 60 on Wednesday while it was selling Tk 30 to Tk 35 in last week. At retail market local onion sold between Tk 55 and Tk 60 per kg.
Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) said price of onion has increased by 46 per cent this time from the same period last year. The price hike is also evident in the wholesale market. But why this increase has no valid answer except different excuses.
Yasin Rana, proprietor of Bismillah Store at West Dhanmondi however attributed the increase in price of imported onions to a rise of its price in India, the source of major imports.
Some sources said floods in some parts of India have slowed down import. In this situation, the government should immediately take steps to import onion from countries like Burma, Thailan, Pakistan, Bhutan and Vietnam, they said.
According to traders, Bangladesh consumes about 28 lakh tonnes of onion annually, of which about 50 percent are met with local produce and the rest with imported one. In fiscal year 2017-18, 2.33 million tons of onion were produced in the country.
Bangladesh Tariff Commission (BTC) sources said a total of 20-22 lakh tonnes onion is needed to cope up with the annual demand. Currently local production stands at 17-18 tonnes and the rest is imported from India.