Visiting several kitchen markets on Saturday, including Rampura, Malibagh, Mogbazar, Madhubagh, and Karwanbazar, this correspondent found that onion prices increased by Tk10-15 per kilogram from last week
Prices of onions kept rising in the capital's kitchen markets despite the government's efforts to keep it within the affordable reach of customers.
Visiting several kitchen markets on Saturday including Rampura, Malibagh, Mogbazar, Madhubagh, and Karwanbazar, this correspondent found that onion prices increased by Tk10-15 per kilogram from last week.
Local onions retailed for Tk85-100 a kg, while the imported ones sold for Tk75-85 per kg, compared to Tk80-90 per kg and Tk65-70 per kg respectively from last week.
Onions were sold at wholesale markets at higher prices as well, with local ones selling for Tk80-85 per kg and imported ones for Tk70-75 per kg.
Onion prices shot up by Tk30-50 per kg after the export ban was announced in India on September 14. Local onions immediately sold for as high as Tk120 per kg, even though it retailed below Tk35 per kg even in August.
In an attempt to curb the onion price hike, the government took several initiatives, such as selling the item in open market sale (OMS) across the country at Tk30 per kg, selling them online through selective e-commerce platforms at Tk36 per kg, withdrawing the 5% import duty on the bulb, intensifying market monitoring to prevent its price manipulation and import onions from other countries such as Egypt and Turkey.
Rasel Ahmed, a retailer at Malibagh kitchen market, said as it was off-season for local onions this time of the year, traders relied on imported onions to keep the supply stable.
However, due to no new stocks being there in the market,as well as rotten pre-contracted onions coming in from India, prices went up again, he added.
Imran Hossain, a consumer, expressed his frustration at the hike of onion prices despite the government initiatives.
He urged the authorities to intensify market monitoring so that prices could be within their reach.
Vegetables and other commodity prices remain high
The prices of most vegetables increased by Tk5-10 a kg in the city over the week.
Aubergines retailed for Tk75-80 a kg, tomatoes for Tk120-145 a kg, papayas for Tk45 a kg, bitter gourds for Tk80-90 a kg, beans for Tk75-85 a kg, cucumbers for Tk40-45 a kg, and potatoes for Tk40 a kg. Green chillies were selling for Tk170-210 a kg in the city.
Premium red lentils sold for Tk125 a kg, medium quality ones for Tk90-95 a kg and the coarse variety for Tk65-70 a kg.
Unpacked soybean oil and palmoil prices also increased by Tk5-6 a litre, retailing for Tk90-95 a litre and Tk85-86 a litre respectively. Bottled soybean oil was retailing for Tk108-110 per litre.
The local variety of ginger was retailing for Tk160-200 a kg while imported variety sold for Tk220-250 a kg on the day.
The price of garlic remained unchanged; the local variety was retailing for Tk100-120 a kg while the imported variety was retailing for Tk90-100 a kg.
Meanwhile, spice prices also increased. Cumin prices increased to Tk320-450 a kg from Tk300-400 a kg from last week.
Coriander was selling for Tk100-150 a kg and bay leaves were selling for Tk100-140 a kg.