Onion price heating up; consumers feeling the pinch

United News of Bangladesh | Published: 17:46, Dec 12,2017


The price of onion, an essential kitchen vegetable, saw more than 200 percent rise year-on-year with people now buying the local variety at Tk 115-130 per kg and imported one at Tk 75-90 a kg.

Local onion price has marked a rise by 226 per cent while that of imported one by 200 per cent, posting an overall rise of 215 per cent.

During a visit to several kitchen markets on Tuesday, local variety of onions was selling at wholesale market at Tk 80-90 per kg while its Indian variety at Tk 60-70.

According to wholesale traders, the importers are not opening letters of credit (LCs) as the seasonal fruits are coming to the market. Those who have opened LCs are yet to release imported onion into the market, decreasing the supply of the item.

The onion price has gone up as the demand is higher than the supply, they said.

Retailers claimed that the onion price increased at the wholesale level forcing them to sell it at a higher price.

They also said the retail price will come down if it is cut at the wholesale level.

In the last one week, the price of imported onion increased by Tk 5-10 and it was now selling at Tk 75-90. One month ago, it was selling at Tk 55-65 while the price was Tk 25-30 in December last year.

The local variety was selling at Tk 70-80 last month while it was sold at Tk 35-40 last year.

Meanwhile, the skyrocketing price of onion has hit the common people hard, making their life miserable. For many, onion has now become an expensive item.

Expressing his frustration over the onion price, Gopal Chandra Basak, a share trader, said, ‘Middle-class people don’t need to slice onions anymore to get tears in their eyes as the onion price itself will do it for them.’

‘We’re now helpless. As onion is a must for every kitchen, the price hike is making it difficult for us to consume it,’ said Hazera Begum, a housewife.

Blaming the inactivity of Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) for the hike in the onion price, Ghulam Rahman, president of Consumers Association of Bangladesh, said although the institution was established to keep the market stable, it is now in hibernation.

‘It has no activity in the rest of the year other than the month of Ramadan. This can’t be tolerated.’

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