Onion prices rise by Tk 40-50 a kg overnight as India bans export

Onion prices rise by Tk 40-50 a kg overnight as India bans export

FE Online Report |  September 30, 2019


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Onion prices have shot up by Tk 40-50 a kg at retail overnight as the spice sold at Tk 100-130 a kg in different areas of Dhaka city on Monday morning, just a day after India banned export of the cooking ingredient.

The prices also rose by Tk25 -35 a kg at the major wholesale markets, including Shyambazar, Karwan Bazar, Moulovibazar and Beribadh.

Visiting Shyambazar on Monday noon, this correspondent found that the onion of local variety was selling at Tk 92-108 and that of Myanmar variety at Tk 85- 90 a kg.

Imported Indian varieties were almost absent in the wholesale markets while few trading houses were selling those at Tk 96-102 a kg at Shyambazar.

Md Ismail Hossain, manager of M/S Panna Banijjaloy of Shyambazar, said the Indian ban on export caused surge in prices.

He said traders in Faridpur, Pabna, Magura, Kushtia, Jhinaidah have raised prices of local onion overnight.

Md Shahidul Islam, proprietor of M/S Alhaj Vandar at Shyambazar, said prices might cool down amid entrance of Myanmar onion.

But it would take time, he said.

The government open market sale (OMS) of onion, however, put almost no impact in the market.

The state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh(TCB) was selling 35 tonnes of onion from 35 trucks in different points of the city.

TCB was selling onion at Tk 45 a kg against the market price of Tk 120-130 a kg.

But the state-run trading agency was providing only 35 tonnes through OMS against a daily demand of 2000 tonnes, said Consumers Association of Bangladesh secretary Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan.

He said poor market monitoring also encouraged traders to raise prices at will.

He said there was 1.9 million tonnes of onion production in the country while a total of 1.1 million tonnes were imported this year.

So, there was no logic of rising prices by such a high margin when demand is maximum 2.4 million tonnes, he added.

On the heels of the Indian export ban, earlier yesterday (Sunday), commerce secretary Dr Md Jafar Uddin ruled out the possibility of the Indian export ban affecting the local markets.

He said the Indian ban was unlikely to affect the local market adversely as the government had taken steps to rein in onion prices.

“The supply of onion in the market is satisfactory. Two ships from Myanmar with imported onion will arrive here shortly,” he added.

Besides, the import of onion from Turkey and Egypt was in the pipeline, the secretary continued.

tonmoy.wardad@gmail.com

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