Onion prices still high

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:17, Dec 07,2019


A restaurant sells beef dishes, one prepared with onion at Tk 110 per plate and the other without onion at Tk 80, at Basherpool area of Demra in Dhaka on Friday amid soaring prices of onion. — Apu Abdullah

There was no respite from the high prices of onion for consumers as the commodity was selling at exorbitant price since mid-September.

The price of local onion remained Tk 250 a kilogram for last two months belying all the government efforts to bring under control the soaring prices of the essential item in the market.  

The local variety of onions was selling for Tk 240-260 a kilogram and the imported Egyptian variety for Tk 150-170 a kg on Friday.

Myanmar onions were retailing at Tk 220-230 a kg while China onions at Tk 140-150 a kg.

According to the data of the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh, the price of local onion increased by 623 per cent in the past one year as the price of the item was Tk 30-35 a kg on December 6 last year.

It also showed the price of imported onion increased by 520 per cent year on year.

Commerce ministry on Friday said the import of onion from several countries would continue until the price of the item would come down.

The ministry in a press release said a total of 4,159 tonnes of onions entered into Bangladesh through Chattogram port and Teknaf land port from several countries including Turkey, Egypt, China and Myanmar.    Out of 4,159 tonnes of onion, 2,932 tonnes entered into the country through Chattogram port and rest of the item imported through Teknaf, the release said.

The prices of onions started shooting up since September 14 as India raised the minimum export price of the item to $850 a tonne on September 13.

Onion prices surged to Tk 55-65 a kg from Tk 23-40 a kg in Bangladesh on September 14.

On September 29 when India imposed a ban on onion export, the price hit Tk 120 a kg in Dhaka’s kitchen markets the following day, on September 30.

After the price spiral began the government started open market sales of onions through the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh.

But the onion prices topped Tk 250 a kg across the country on November 15.

Country’s big business groups started importing onions from Pakistan, Egypt and Turkey by air following a government request.

After the government initiative, the supply of onions started improving at the market with the prices falling slightly for two or three days but the prices started increasing again from November 20.

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