Government Policy

Onion price is on down trend

DHAKA The onion price is getting down slowly at different kitchen markets in the city but the common people are not feeling comfortable as they are considering that the onion price is still much higher compared to the price that was a month ago.

The price of the onion has rather declined at both wholesale and retail level over the couple of days but consumers are thinking that it is still much higher and it is yet to come at tolerable level.

The onion is now being sold at Taka 70-75 per kg at wholesale level while the retailers are selling it Taka 90 per kg up Taka 45 from the price that was on the first week of September at different kitchen markets in the capital.

A week ago the wholesale price of per kg onion was Taka 85-90 and it was Tk 100-110 at retail level said a retailer Sanaullah of Hazrat Shah Ali kitchen market of Mirpur section-1 in the capital.

Whether the onion price would go back at previous level the traders said there is no chance to become further cheaper of the onion price as farmers have no onion stock at their own possession at this time and it is now being hoarded by the traders.

The onion market is now being controlled by the few hoarders said Masir Uddin a wholesaler and retailer of city's Kawran Bazar a main hub of onion trading center in the city adding taking advantage of the situation a section of unscrupulous traders are allegedly trying to create an artificial crisis by squeezing the supply of the kitchen essential with a view to get unethical financial benefit. Even the price hike has also curbed the trading and consumption of the onion.

I used to buy at least 3 kg onion in a week now it has come down to one kg said Abdur Rab a businessman and consumer of Kawran Bazar area. At wholesale level nearly 1000-1200 kg were sold everyday but now it has been dropped by 500-600 kg per day said Bharat Kumar Saha a wholesaler of Sree Ram Vhandar of Hazrat Shah Ali High School Market at Mirpur-1.

The price of the kitchen staple have already turned down and it will decline further more over the time being as the district administration is working to increase supply of the essential into the market said Syed Mostaque Hasan Deputy Director of the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection of Rajshahi division.

Meanwhile our Chattogram correspondent reported that already huge quantities of onion have entered into the wholesale markets of Khatungonj and Chaktai of the port city within the couple of days.

About 10000 tonnes of onion have been imported within the span from September 27 to October 03 said Mohammad Idris General Secretary of Onion business hub 'Hamidullah Market Businessmen Association' of Khatungonj.

At least 20 to 25 trucks loaded with each 15 tons of onion entered in the Khatungonj every day Idris added.

The prices of the Indian and Myanmar onions come down by Tk.20 per kg. The Myanmar onion is being sold at Tk. 60 per kg Idris added.

Talking to BSS Nurul Alam Master an importer of Khantungonj business hub said huge onions from China and Egypt expected to reach Chattogram port within couple of days.

He said about 584 metric tons onion was delivered from Teknaf land port on Wednesday and a number of Trawlers with 845 tons are also awaiting at Naf river for unloading .

The prices of the Myanmar onions will come down within two to three days he added. Besides a high powered team of Ministry of Commerce led by Joint secretary Mohammad Towfiqur Rahman staying at Teknaf to resolve the quick delivery of imported Myanmar onion and to observe the total situation of the onions import.

The onion price mounted to Taka 100-110 per kg in phases since September 13 fueled further as the Indian government banned onion export on September 29 citing incessant rain causing damage the onion crops and soaring the onion price domestically.

On September 13 India had fixed minimum export price (MEP) of onion to $850 per tonne from the earlier MEP of $350 which had badly affected on the retail price of the onion in the country from the next day.

The retail prices of both local and Indian onions in the capital rose to Tk 80 with a maximum hike of Tk 30 per kg following the import price hike.

Country's net onion production is around 25 lakh tonnes against the demand of 26 lakh tonnes� the country is compelled to import around 11 lakh tonnes of onion yearly which is mainly for 30 per cent production loss during the harvest.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)