As the imports declined, prices went up by Tk4-3, with per kg onion selling for Tk48-52 at the port on Thursday, compared to Tk45-48 the previous day
The prices of onion have gone up again after imports fell significantly at Dinajpur's Hili land port because of the new minimum export price (MEP) set by the Indian government.
As the imports declined, prices went up by Tk4-3, with per kg onion selling for Tk48-52 at the port on Thursday, compared to Tk45-48 the previous day.
Although onion prices were around Tk39-42 per kg before the new Indian export policy took effect.
According to sources at the Hili land port, the import of onion resumed around 5:15pm Sunday after the new MEP came into effect.
A total of 368 tons of onions, on 17 trucks, were imported through the port on Sunday. The imports rose by 561 tons on Monday but then again fell to only 297 tons on Tuesday. The downward trend continued on Thursday also.
Rashed and Sweet, onion importers at the port, said onion prices in Bangladeshi kitchen markets depend heavily on imports from India. So, if import falls, prices go up automatically, they added.
Harun-Ur-Rashid, an onion importer at the port, said: "Previously, the import cost of per ton onion was $250-300. In recent months, prices went up in the Indian market due to stock shortage caused by floods.
"Recently, the Indian government also hiked the export price to check price hike in their market. On Friday, India fixed the export price at $852 per ton," he said.
Moreover, the new MEP had negatively impacted traders, as they were now forced to open new letters of credit (LCs) spending more money.
Previously, it would cost around Tk23-30 lakh to import 100 tons of onion which now increased to around Tk73 lakh.
As a result, the Hili port was witnessing a major slump in import, he said.
"However, new onion will come up in different areas of India within the next 20 to 25 days. We hope that price will come down to a tolerable level soon," Harun added.
TCB's open market sale of onion
The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) began sale of onion at a subsidized price in the open markets in Dhaka on Tuesday.
The corporation started selling onion at Tk45 per kg at five spots in Dhaka on Tuesday. A buyer can purchase a maximum of two kilos of onion from the spots.
Govt to import from Turkey, Myanmar, China
The government has decided to import onion from Turkey, Myanmar and China to improve supply and bring down prices of the essential cooking ingredient at kitchen markets.
The move came after the Indian government recently fixed minimum export price of onion to rein in soaring prices in their domestic market.