India’s squeeze on exporters doubles price of onions in Bangladesh
BENAPOLE, July 12: Onion prices at retail level have doubled in the space of just 10 days, following India's withdrawal of incentives on onion export for its farmers. Consumers though smelt a local conspiracy amid old suspicions of 'syndicates' - powerful networks with presence throughout a supply chain, who work to manipulate the market.
A look back through the timeline of events however, supports the view that the price movements here are indeed the consequence of policy measures in our neighbouring state.
On June 11, the Indian government withdrew the incentive for the Indian exporters of onions, with the intention of shoring up the Indian market and bringing prices down after they skyrocketed.
It used to allow exporters to get a 10 percent incentive on the free on board (FOB) prices realised from overseas importers. The incentive scheme was anyway set to expire on June 30 but was brought forward.
In Benapole land port, the import of Indian onions reduced three-fold in June.
Consequently, the price shot up in the big markets of Benapole, Sharsha, Navaron, Bag Anchra and Goga area. Here, each kg of Indian onion is being sold at Tk 28-32 which was sold at only Tk 14 before.
Besides, customers are buying each kg of local onion at TK 38-42 which they used to buy at Tk 22 before. Price of the local variety has always been higher than of the Indian imported onion. -UNB