Onion price soars to Tk 110/kg and rising
Published : Wednesday, 16 September, 2020 at 12:00 AM Count : 188
Prices of onion shot up once again in the city markets after India suspended export from Monday.
The price of the local onion rose by Tk35 to Tk40 per kg and is now being sold at Tk100-Tk110 per kg in different city kitchen markets.
But two days ago, the onions were sold at Tk 60 per kg depending on size and varieties.
Currently, the imported onions are being sold at Tk 80 per kg, after the prices went up by Tk30 per kg in a day.
Meanwhile, expressing anger, buyers said the market had enough stock but a syndicate hiked the prices of onion.
On the other hand, the sellers said ban on onion export by India had affected the market.
Mobile teams of the National Consumer Rights Protection Department and the Commerce Ministry launched a special operation in the wholesale market and retail markets in the capital to control the price of onion.
On Tuesday the capital's Karwan Bazar, Old Dhaka's Shyambazar and the onion warehouse and wholesale market were raided.
Abdul Jabbar Mandal, Assistant Director of the Department, said three monitoring teams of the Commerce Ministry, including four teams from the department, were conducting the drives.
Ashraful Alam, wholesaler at the Karwan Bazar kitchen market in the capital told the Daily Observer, "Local onions were being sold at Tk50 on Monday morning. At night, they were being sold for Tk 80. Now the selling price is Tk 100."
In the Karwan Bazar wholesale market, the local onion selling price is Tk 85 to Tk 90 per kg, while imported onion is selling for Tk 70 to Tk 75.
In the retail markets, local onion is being sold at Tk 100 per kg and imported onion is being sold for Tk 80-Tk 90.
"What will we eat now?" asked Dhaka garment worker Munna Khan, who was laid off from his job in March after the coronavirus outbreak shuttered many businesses, hitting incomes of many and hiking the prices of commodities.
"Prices of all items went up when we have no income," he said.
Retail prices of the root vegetable, a staple of sub continental cuisine, jumped in Dhaka to Tk90 to Tk100 per kg on Tuesday from Tk60 on Monday and Tk30 at the beginning of the month.
"Many trucks are standing on the Indian side with onions," said trader Saiful Islam. "Now we are wondering what will happen to those supplies."
India is the biggest supplier of onions to neighbouring Bangladesh, which buys a yearly average of more than 350,000 tonnes.
Onion prices in Bangladesh jumped to a record Tk250 in 2019 after a similar Indian ban forced the government to fly in onions.
Now, Bangladesh is turning to other countries for supplies, Commerce Secretary Dr Jafar Uddin said.
"Our target is to import onions in the shortest possible time," he added. "The government is importing 100,000 tonnes of onions from Turkey and other countries."
Dhaka saw a rush of poor people this week, when it offered onions at a subsidized rate of Tk 30 a kilo, although some were left empty-handed on Tuesday, when supplies ran out.
In India, prices tripled in a month to 30 rupees a kg as the summer-sown onion crop in the southern states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh was damaged by excessive rainfall, traders said.
India's key onion-producing states have received as much as 41 percent more rainfall than normal since the monsoon season began on June 1.
"Supplies from the new crop were delayed by nearly a month," said Ajit Shah, President of the Mumbai-based Onion Exporters' Association.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh has requested the Indian government to withdraw the ban imposed on onion export as soon as possible, keeping the import flow of onion from India uninterrupted. Bangladesh expects a positive outcome in this regard soon.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam came up with the information while talking to reporters at his office on Tuesday.
He said Bangladesh raised the issue with the Ministry of External Affairs, India through Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi immediately after noticing the ban.
Shahriar said there is an unwritten understanding that India will inform Bangladesh beforehand while taking any decision on such a ban.