Traders this time blame Cyclone Bulbul for onion price hike
Published : Thursday, 14 November, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 59
The prices of onion further increased in the kitchen market on Wednesday and traders blamed the impact of cyclone 'bulbul' on the onion market selling at Tk 150 per kg. Buyers however blamed traders for the fresh price hike using cyclone as cover.
Abdus Salam, a wholesaler at the Karwan Bazaar kitchen market in the capital told the Daily Observer, "After the cyclone, onion prices have risen again although there is no supply shortage. Traders are using various pretexts to exploit market - this time cyclone.
What appears intriguing is that when onion prices are rising to record high again, the government leaders are keeping silent instead of taking corrective steps. Contrary to it, some government leaders even claimed on Tuesday that prices were coming down.
Onion imports are reaching the country from several sources. Like Myanmar, Egypt, China and Pakistan. A private business house has opened L/C for 300 tone of onion from Pakistan and more order are reportedly on the way.
Bangladesh is importing from Pakistan after 15 years following ban on Indian export in October after increasing export price in September this year.
An official of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) confirmed that Bangladesh's Tasho Enterprise has finalised deals with a Karachi-based Roshan Enterprise, says the English-language Pakistan daily.
"At least 12 containers of onions are being exported to Bangladesh in the first shipment," the official said. "More would follow."
India has slapped a ban on exports of onion to Bangladesh due supply shortage amid floods. But India is supplying onion to Maldives as it faced supply shortage while it held back such export to Bangladesh.
Bangladesh imports 700,000 to 1.1 million tones of onion a year and of which around 75 per cent was imported from India. The ban caused surge in prices to new heights in Bangladesh, as the market was heavily dependent on Indian supply.
Besides this, Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun on Tuesday claimed that onion price, which had skyrocketed, is now under control when it sells above Tk 150 per kg in city markets.
"I believe onion market which had gone beyond control is now under control," he said while responding to a supplementary question from BNP MP Jahidur Rahman in Parliament in absence of Commerce Minister Tipu Mushi.
He said the onion market got overheated due to short supply caused by India's export ban following flashflood in the neighbouring country. "But we've brought the situation under control quickly…we're importing onion from Myanmar and Turkey," he said.
Majid said it is a lean season for onion and the crisis usually prevails at this time. "Our local onion is yet to hit the market, but it'll be available in the market within a few days."
He also mentioned that the import of onion from India has started.
While visiting different kitchen market in the capital this correspondent found, in the wholesale market, onions were sold at Tk 150 to Tk 155 per kg. Local onions were sold Tk 110 to Tk 120 per kg last week. Imported onions were sold Tk 145 to Tk 150 on Wednesday while it was sold Tk 110 to Tk 120 in the last week.