New imports from India contain rotten onion
Despite a slide, prices still high
Published : Thursday, 10 October, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 48
Onion prices have come down in the market on arrival of new imports mainly after releasing of several consignments by India which it held back after government ban on onion export last month.
India allowed clearance of import consignments following Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to Delhi. She demanded the release of the import consignments booked under previous L/Cs and the Indian government quickly paved the way.
But trading circles said about 50 percent of Indian onion now entering Bangladesh got rotten for being held in transit for quite some time. About 30 percent onion imported from Myanmar is also found to have got rot and being treated as waste.
Onion importer Mosharraf Sikder told The Daily Observer on Wednesday that perishable items need to be transported and cleared quickly. But onion booked for import from India can't enter Bangladesh because of blockade by Indian customs following the export ban on September 29.
A large part of onion thus got rot and since consumers will not buy such onion, importers are facing huge loses. The same is true in case of import from Myanmar.
Another importer Shahidul Islam made similar allegations saying onion trucks were held back at border by Indian customs following the export ban. It led to long delay in clearing the import consignments by Indian customs and thus bulk of the consignment got rot.
Trading circles also said onion from Egypt has started arriving. But unless huge quantity of onion is coming, the market will remain under pressure and prices may continue on the high side.
Onion price appears to have dropped by at least Tk 10 to Tk 20 per kg both in retail and wholesale market in the past two days. Imported onion sold between Tk 65 and Tk 70 per kg while local onion sold between Tk 75 to Tk 80 per kg. Supply in the market is slowly becoming normal but prices remained high.
Meanwhile Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) is running open market sale of onion in city streets helping to lower the suffering of low income people. Trucks loaded with onion are selling it at Tk 45 per kg along with some other consumer items. The limited quantity is not enough to mitigate higher demand.