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Dhaka Tribune

Onion prices drop dramatically as imports resume

At least 57 trucks loaded with onion entered Bangladesh through the Rajshahi border, three trucks through the Hili border and eight through Satkhira’s Bhomra land port

Update : 05 Jun 2023, 09:43 PM

The country's wholesale markets saw a sharp fall in onion prices after imports from India resumed through different land borders on Monday.

At least 57 trucks loaded with onion entered Bangladesh through the Rajshahi border, three trucks through the Hili border and eight through Satkhira's Bhomra land port.

Due to the import, wholesalers in Chittagong's Khatunganj were seen releasing stockpiles of onion from warehouses yesterday. Moreover, the retail price dropped by Tk20-25 per kg.

On the other hand, the wholesale price of local onion also fell by Tk10-20 in Dinajpur.

On Sunday, onions were sold at Tk85 per kg in the wholesale market from the morning. However, in the evening, the price dropped to Tk75. 

Traders say they will reduce the prices once the Indian onions enter the market.

Deputy Assistant Plant Quarantine Officer at Hili Port Yusuf Ali said: "Onion import was suspended on March 16. We heard about the Import Permission (IP) for onions on Sunday. However, the matter has not been officially announced yet. Once we receive the IP, onion imports will commence."

On Sunday, the Ministry of Agriculture granted permission for onion imports. The decision was taken to safeguard the interests of consumers, particularly those with limited income and struggling labourers.

Shakil Khan, an onion trader at Hili Bazar, expressed his concerns regarding the absence of permission for onion imports and the resulting supply shortage, which led to an increase in prices. He mentioned that they were compelled to purchase onions at higher prices and subsequently sell them at elevated rates, contributing to market instability. However, following the recent authorization for imports, they have taken the initiative to lower prices in the market. Consequently, they are now selling onions at a reduced price of Tk10.

Hili Land Port onion importer Shahidul Islam said: "I, along with several other importers, had previously applied for Import Permission from the ministry. This will further reduce the prices."

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