The consignment will be cleared from the port in a day or two
A 728-tonne consignment of onions arrived at Chittagong port from Turkey on Monday, a development that can go some way towards bringing down the runaway prices of the key cooking ingredient.
MV Contship Hub had already begun to offload its batch of onions at the port's NCT Jetty, said Jamal Uddin Ahmed, regional chief of state-owned Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), the importer of the bulb.
The consignment will be cleared from the port in a day or two, after which it will be distributed across the country, he added.
Also Read - How to get rid of the onion quandary
The overheated onion market would cool down when the large onion consignments hit the market, said Mohammad Idris, general secretary of the Khatunganj Hamid Ullah Market Traders' Welfare Association.
On September 14, India, from where 90 per cent of the onion consumed in Bangladesh comes, banned export of all types of onions to Bangladesh, citing a shortage in supply due to heavy rainfall and floods.
This caused the onion prices to spiral across the border.
The authorities are helping the traders to complete import proceedings quickly, issuing the import permit (IP) and release orders without any delay, said Ashaduzzaman Bulbul, deputy director of the Chittagong Plant Quarantine Station (Sea Port) under the Department of Agriculture Extension
Also Read - Onion import made duty-free
According to the wholesalers at Khatunganj market, the Pakistani variety of essential cooking ingredientis selling at Tk 45-47 per kilogram, the Burmese variety at Tk 45-55 per kg, the Chinese variety at Tk 20-32 per kg, the Turkish ones at Tk 50-52 per kg, the Egyptian variety at Tk 45 per kg and locally grown ones at Tk 75 per kg.
The neighbouring country had imposed a similar ban last year, which had a similar effect on the onion price.