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Onion prices high despite airlifting from abroad

Published : Thursday, 5 December, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 233

Price of an onion of Egyptian variety weighing 252 gram marked Tk 60 on November 15. 	file photo

Price of an onion of Egyptian variety weighing 252 gram marked Tk 60 on November 15. file photo

Anwar Hossain, an onion trader at Kaptan Bazar kitchen market in the capital, told the Daily Observer, "On Wednesday, I bought local onion from Shyambazar wholesale market at Tk 200 per kg. We, the retailers, are selling the same at Tk 220 to Tk 240 per kg, while the imported at Tk 170 to Tk 180."
He said, "I sold onion imported from Myanmar at Tk 210 per kg. But Myanmar onion is not available in Shyambazar today. So, I brought local onion at a higher price."
While visiting different kitchen markets in the capital this correspondent found that the local onion is being sold at Tk 230 to Tk 250 per kg and imported ones at Tk 220 to Tk 240 while the onion from China at Tk 120.
Traders said they were not seeing any sign of decline in the prices of onion imported from Egypt, Myanmar and China instead these were being sold at a much higher than the government fixed prices.
They said onion supply was getting scanty every day threatening a further price escalation.
The retail price of Myanmar onion was from Tk 210 to Tk 230 at the city's Hatirpool Kitchen market and other markets.
They said that imported onion from Egypt is being mostly sold by the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) at Tk 45 a kg. The government has been flying in onions from abroad while encouraging import of the essential to tackle the price hike which has gripped the market for over two months.
Meghna Group, which is among the business houses that have come forward to help the government tackle the situation, imported 780 tonnes of onion from Egypt which is expected to arrive by sea on Thursday, said Deputy Managing Director of the group, Asif Iqbal.
He said apart from that 900 tonnes more onions will arrive by December 9 and will be sold through the TCB. The TCB is offering a limited amount of onion at Tk 45 to Tk 50 per kg for some time.
City Group General Manager Biswajit Saha said they were expecting a consignment of 2,500 tonnes on Thursday.
Nitai Babu, a wholesaler at Karwan Bazar kitchen market in the capital said, "Onion prices are going up from Tk 220 to Tk 230 per kg in the wholesale market.
The price may drop by Tk 10 on Sunday. Because, onion price has dropped in Pabna district on Saturday by Tk 300 per maund. These onions will arrive in Dhaka on Saturday night and will be sold in the morning."
The TCB recorded a 55.56 per cent hike in onion prices, on average, last month, while it was 29 per cent, on average, last week. The price of onion witnessed a 536.36 per cent year-on-year rise, TCB data says.
According to TCB data, the price of local onion increased by 546.15 per cent, while that of the imported ones by 540 per cent in November this year compared to the corresponding period last year.
The price hike was much higher than the TCB had estimated. However, The TCB has continued selling local onion at Tk 45 per kg from 35 locations in the city. Beside this, the TCB started open market sale of onion at districts level from December 1.  

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