At the a hint of a possible export ban on onions from India, Bangladeshi traders take timely steps to import onions from other countries
With each day passing, the number of import permits for bringing in onions from different countries is increasing.
At the hint of a possible export ban from India, traders of the country have taken steps well ahead to import onions from other countries.
They began applying for onion import permits from September 3.
On September 14, the Indian government banned the export of all types of onions to Bangladesh, citing a shortage in supply in India itself due to heavy rainfall and floods.
According to the information provided by Chittagong Plant Quarantine Station (Sea Port), as many as 274 import permits (IPs) were issued for 118, 727 tons of onions, between September 3 and September 21.
These import permits indicate,17,365 metric tons of onions will be coming from China, 20,614 metric tons from Pakistan, 20,651 metric tons from Myanmar, 24,929 metric tons from Egypt, 6042 metric tons from Turkey, 25,936 metric tons from the Netherlands, 270 metric tons from Malaysia, and 2920 metric tons from New Zealand.
Dr Md Ashaduzzaman Bulbul, deputy director of Chittagong Plant Quarantine Station (Sea Port), told Dhaka Tribune they were trying to speed up the process of issuing import permits and importing onions, so as to release the imported onions in the market as quickly as possible.
According to Khatunganj market wholesalers, Indian onions sold at Tk60 to Tk65 per kg on Tuesday.
In various kitchen markets of the port city, Indian onions retailed at Tk 70 per kg on Tuesday.
Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, General Secretary of Khatunganj HamidUllah Market Traders' Welfare Association, Mohammad Idris, said the overheated onion market would cool down with the arrival of big consignments.
On September 29 last year, India imposed a ban on the export of onion to Bangladesh due to a price hike of the item in its domestic market.
The restriction jacked up onion prices in Bangladesh almost overnight, skyrocketing to Tk250 per kilogram.
India later lifted the prohibition on March 15 this year.