Onion prices in BD show downward trend

Dhaka, Jan 19 – The prices of onion –a common kitchen essential have come down to Tk. 100 and below around four months later, giving a big relief to the pockets of consumers. On Sunday, visiting different kitchen market including Karwan Bazar it was found that the local verity offered Tk. 100 a kg and the local newly harvested murikata variety sold at Tk. 110 per kg, while imported varieties went for Tk. 60-70 per kg. However, a palla of local onion (5 kg) offered at Tk. 450.
Traders said that the prices decreased by Tk 10-25 per kg on Sunday from the previous day.
The price came down as low as Tk 100 (local) and Tk 60 (imported) for the two varieties after fresh harvest of local onions and imported stocks hit the market, said traders.
According to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) data, the prices of local onion were Tk 100-110 while the imported one was being sold at Tk. 60 to 110 yesterday.
Vendors said that they were selling locally-grown new onion for Tk 100-110 per kg and imported ones at Tk 60-70.
Talking to the Independent vendors said that they bought onion at Tk 10-20 less from the wholesale market compared to a day ago. So, now they are selling those at low prices too.
Sometimes, wholesalers hike the price when there are no enough onions in the markets, they said
However, according to the data, the prices of local onions jumped to Tk. 250 per kg in the country’s kitchen markets (as of November last year), registering a hike by up to Tk. 227 per kg, though The Independent found some retail shops selling local onions at Tk. 280 a kg.
Sources at the commerce ministry said that after India reportedly fell in trouble with its huge stock of onion imported from foreign countries to meet its local demand, they tried to import it to Bangladesh. But the Bangladesh government on Thursday cleared its stance on India’s request to import their surplus stock of onion saying that Bangladesh currently has no intention to import the spice from India.
After the declaration of the Bangladesh government, the price of onion has started to come down, said the sources.
Media reports say India imported about 18,000 tones of onion from different countries but the states are not interested to purchase those. Thus, the imported onion is being stockpiled at Mumbai port and the Indian government is currently trying to export the lot to Bangladesh to avoided losses.
Sources said the Indian government has already requested the Bangladesh High Commissioner in New Delhi to import onion from the country.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said that the Bangladesh Government has no intention to purchase onion from India right now.
He said the country has already imported a huge quantity of onion from other countries following a ban in India on onion export. Besides, he said that local onion is currently being harvested and thus the country does not need further import of the bulb.
Earlier, On September 13 last year, India prohibited exports of onions in the wake of its rising prices in the country. India’s commerce and industry ministry amended the export policy of onion from free to be prohibited. (India had exported fresh and chilled onions worth USD 496.82 million in 2018–19).
As a result, onion prices started to soar in Bangladesh’s kitchen markets. On September 29, India banned onion exports altogether, which caused prices to spike in Bangladesh the next day, from Tk. 50 per kg a week earlier to Tk. 75-80 per kg. Later within a week, the price reached at Tk 130-280.
To tackle the crisis, the Bangladesh government imported onions from Myanmar, Turkey, Egypt and a few other countries. On September 17, the TCB began selling onions in open market sales (OMS) at Tk. 45 per kg. – Staff Reporter