The price of local-variety onion almost doubled on the city markets and hit Tk 200 a kilogram again over the week ending on Friday due to supply shortage.
The price increased by 100 per cent a day after the government decided to import two lakh tonnes of onion by March this year.
The New Age correspondent in Pabna reported that onion price doubled on the kitchen markets of Pabna in a day and the item was selling at Tk 200–220.
‘I had bought one kg of onion at Tk 100 a couple of days ago and hoped that the price would continue to go down. When I went to the Library Bazar market today morning to buy onion, I was surprised to see the price of the item to be Tk 200 to 220,’ freedom fighter Rabiul Islam Rabi told New Age on Friday.
The price of the essential cooking ingredient has been increasing on the wholesale markets in Dhaka for the last three days as there was supply shortage of the early-harvested local variety, traders said.
Wholesalers in the capital said that the price of local-variety onion had decreased to Tk 70–80 a kilogram as the crop’s early harvests hit the market in December on a large scale.
But the price has started rising recently as local-variety onions was coming to the market in short supply as a result of cyclone Bulbul that damaged the crop across the country, they said.
Traders also said that onion price would remain high up to mid-February until late-variety onions were harvested.
The price of local onions increased by Tk 90–100 a kilogram and the item was selling at Tk 180–200 a kilogram on Friday.
Although the prices of the onions imported from Egypt and Turkey had decreased to Tk 40–50 in December, the prices of these onions shot up to Tk 100–150 on the city markets on Friday.
The commerce ministry on Thursday held a meeting with importers and traders of essential commodities and sought their help in keeping the prices stable on the market during Ramadan that starts in April.
Commerce minister Tipu Munshi said that they did not want to see further instability in the commodity market centring the supply and price of onion like in October and November last year.
Onion price shot up to Tk 55–65 a kilogram from Tk 30–40 in Bangladesh on September 14, after India fixed the minimum export price of the item at $850 a tonne on September 13.
On September 29 when India imposed a ban on export of the item, the price hit Tk 120 a kilogram on Dhaka’s kitchen markets the following day, on September 30.
Later the item’s price topped Tk 250 and remained so up to the last week of November.
Traders blamed poor supply of onion on the wholesale market for the sudden skyrocketing of the item’s price.
‘I bought each 40 kilograms of onion at Tk 6,800 today morning from the whole sale market of Hazirhaat and I spent Tk 180 on carrying the quantity,’ Md Nannu, a retailer in the Pabna town said on Friday.
Md Azhar Ali, deputy director at the Department of Agriculture Extension, Pabna said that new onions would be available on the market in March and April when onion price would come under control.
A total of 49,800 hectares of land have been brought under onion cultivation in Pabna and it is expected that some 7.5 lakh tonnes of onion would be obtained this year, he said.
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