India on Wednesday decided to lift the ban on onion export after the prices of the commodity witnessed a sharp decline in the country in the last two weeks following a bumper production.
Indian media reported that the onion export ban would be lifted once the Directorate General of Foreign Trade issues a notice in this regard in the next few days.
Quoting food and consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan, the reports said that the lifting of the ban would help farmers to get good prices as a 40 lakhtonnes harvest was forecasted for March, up by 40 per cent than in the same month of last year.
‘Prices have now stabilised and crops are reaching mandis in large quantities. So further bans on onion will put prices under pressure,’ the minister said.
Bangladeshi importers said that the onion prices on local markets would drop if India lifted the ban on export.
‘If India opens up export, Bangladeshi importers would go for import as the prices are much lower in India than in Bangladesh,’ Narayan Chandra Saha, one of the importers of Shyambazar, told New Age.
He said that the prices of onion had already started to fall on the city
markets after the supply of the local variety had increased.
India, the world’s biggest exporter of onions, banned the exports of the item in September last year to keep domestic supplies intact after flooding in several states led to seasonal shortages and caused a spike in its local prices.
The day after the announcement of the export ban the prices of onion doubled to Tk 120 per kg from Tk 60 per kg on the markets in Dhaka.
The prices hit Tk 270 a kg on the city markets in November as India was the prime source of onion import for Bangladesh.
The prices of onion had decreased slightly on the city’s kitchen markets in the last few days but were still higher compared to the pre-ban level.
On Thursday, the local variety of onion was sold for Tk 100-110 a kg while the imported variety was sold for Tk 80-120 a kg on the city markets.
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