• Friday, Oct 23, 2020
  • Last Update : 10:47 am

Onion markets heat up in Chittagong amid supply crunch

  • Published at 01:17 pm September 15th, 2020
WEB_ onions
File photo of a seller packing onions Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

On September 29, 2019, India imposed a ban on the export of onion to Bangladesh due to a price hike of the item in its domestic market

The ban on onion export slapped by India has triggered a price hike in both wholesale and retail markets in Chittagong.

According to Khatunganj market wholesalers, Indian onions sold at Tk38 to Tk40 per kg on Monday.

However, prices shot up to Tk55 to Tk60 per kg at the commodity hub on Tuesday.

Visiting various kitchen markets of the port city, it was found that onions imported from India retailed at Tk50 per kg on Monday.

However, the price jumped to Tk70, after just one day, on Tuesday.

The wholesalers of Khatunganj market put it down to the supply crunch triggered by the export ban imposed by India. 

Also Read- Onion wholesalers in Khatunganj suspend trade following mobile court drives

Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, General Secretary of Khatunganj Hamid Ullah Market Traders' Welfare Association Mohammad Idris said that the price would hover around the existing ranges for the next one or two weeks.

“The overheated onion market will cool down with the arrival of big consignments. Also, no onions have been imported from Myanmar through the Teknaf border due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation. Prices will drop further with imports from Myanmar and other countries,” he said.

Ali Hossain Khokon, proprietor of SN Traders at Khatungonj market, said that the onion prices were soaring due to a fall in supply amid the ban on exports imposed by India.

“As you know, onion is a highly perishable item. We have to clear the stock within two or three day otherwise the onion gets damaged,” he said.   

According to the information provided by Chittagong Plant Quarantine Station (Sea Port), import permit (IP) was issued for 9101 metric tons of onions to be brought from Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan, China and Myanmar in June, July, August and September of 2020.

Importers are required to take import permits (IP) from Plant Quarantine Station before opening a letter of credit (LC) for importing agricultural products.

In June, July, and August of 2020, 1082 metric tons of onions imported from China and Myanmar have entered through the Chittagong sea port.

Deputy Director Chittagong Plant Quarantine Station (Sea Port) Dr Md Ashaduzzaman Bulbul, told Dhaka Tribune that they were avoiding delays in issuing the IP in order to release the imported onions as quickly as possible.

On Monday, India banned exports of all varieties of onion with immediate effect to cap its rising prices in the domestic market.

Like 2019, flood has ruined most of India's onion production, prompting the supply crunch.

On September 29, 2019, 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 fuelled up onion prices in Bangladesh almost overnight, skyrocketing to Tk250 per kg.

India lifted the prohibition on March 15, 2020.

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