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Import cost behind onion price hike

  • Published at 01:14 pm August 28th, 2019
Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh to hold expo in Brazil from November 7 to 8 to explore the export market

The increase in import cost of onion is responsible for the sudden upsurge in onion prices at Bangladeshi kitchen markets, says Senior Commerce Secretary Md Mofizul Islam.

He said: "Onion prices have gone up in India by Tk10 to 12 per kilograms due to flood. As a result, the import cost has also gone up and Bangladeshi markets are witnessing the effect."

The secretary said this in a press briefing on the outcome of Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi's recently concluded tour to Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

The commerce minister visited the South American countries from Aug 14 to 24 to explore the markets to boost export. 

Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said: “Bangladesh will hold an expo in Brazil from November 7 to 8 to explore the export markets, especially for apparel goods.”

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce & Industries (FBCCI), with assistance from the government, will organize the expo while Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) will coordinate the event. 

Onion prices at the capital’s kitchen markets shot up to Tk50 to 55 per kg from Tk40 last week, which the traders blamed on supply shortage.

Nurul Haque, a Karwan Bazar-based wholesaler, said there was minimal import of onion after Eid-ul-Azha, causing the prices increase.

“The onion market is heavily dependent on imports, especially from India,” he said.

The wholesaler however hinted that prices might come down in a day or two as onion imports would start to increase again.  

According to traders, Bangladesh consumes about 2.8 million tons of onion annually, of which about 50% are met by local produces and the rest with imported ones.  

In fiscal year 2017-18, 2.33 million tons of onion was produced in 212,194 hectares in the country.