The prices of onion jumped up to Tk 25 per kg in the capital’s wholesale markets on Sunday on supply crunch of the bulb, traders said.
Onions being flown in from Pakistan, China, Egypt and Myanmar are too scant to meet the local demand, they said. But the government is optimistic that the common kitchen item’s price will cool down soon as onions are being imported on large scales.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Sunday said 12,000 tonnes of imported onion will reach Chattogram Port on Nov 29 and will be available in the market within next 10 days.
Each kg will cost Tk32 to reach the port and will be sold at Tk60, he said, adding that the local variety will also be available in market within this time.
Bangladesh’s annual demand for onion is 2.4-2.5 million tonnes and one-fourth of it has to be imported, the minister said, adding that 90 percent of the amount comes from India.
An export ban by India on September 29 triggered a supply shortage that sent onion prices in local markets through the roof.
Ridoy, a wholesaler at Karwan Bazar, said the local variety was being sold at Tk 200-220 per kg while onion from Myanmar cost Tk 180-190, Egyptian variety Tk120-125 and Chinese Tk 105-125 on Sunday.
Only a day ago, these varieties cost Tk 190-195, Tk 170-175, Tk 110-125 and Tk 105-110 respectively.
“The prices might rise further if the supply shortage persists,” said Shamsur Rahman, a trader at Shyambazar. “Today we sold local variety at Tk 200, Burmese at Tk 180-190, Egyptian at Tk 150 and Chinese at Tk 120 per kg.”
State-owned Trading Corporation of Bangladesh said the local variety of the bulb was selling at Tk 190-200 per kg while the imported ones cost Tk 130-190 in Dhaka’s retail market on Sunday.
But the UNB correspondent found local onions being sold at Tk 230-250 per kg and imported ones at Tk 150-200 in the kitchen market.
Mohammad Hafiz, an onion importer, said they did not have enough in stocks and those imported by the government are yet to reach the markets.
“We hope the problem will be resolved within the next week when onions hit the market in large quantities,” he said.