• Monday, Dec 16, 2019
  • Last Update : 04:18 pm

Onion updates: Prices still exorbitant in capital, ease in districts

  • Published at 12:20 am November 19th, 2019
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File photo of a seller packing onions Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Local variety of onion sold at Karwanbazar wholesale market at Tk180-200 per kilogram, while onion imported from Egypt and Myanmar sold for Tk170-180 per kg

Onion prices have started going down by Tk30-50 per kg in most of the districts in the country, while retail prices in the capital are still exorbitant at Tk230-240 per kg.

The prices went down only by Tk10 to Tk15 per kg on Monday in the retail markets of the capital. Consumers were found largely cutting their consumption due to the runaway prices of the key cooking ingredient.

Onion was selling at Tk235 per kg at Shwapno Panthapath outlet on Monday, down from Tk248 on Sunday.

Last Saturday, the retail price of onion in the capital’s kitchen market was around Tk225 a kg,  which rose to Tk240-250 a kg on Sunday. On Monday it was between Tk220 and 240 a kg at different retail shops.

Local variety of onion sold at Karwanbazar wholesale market at Tk180-200 per kilogram, while onion imported from Egypt and Myanmar sold for Tk170-180 per kg.

Local onion at Old Dhaka's Shyambazar wholesale market sold for Tk175 per kg yesterday, which sold on Sunday at Tk230-240 per kg, while the ones from Myanmar sold for Tk160-170 per kg.

A wholesaler at Shyambazar said the prices dipped Monday due to the incoming onion consignments by air, 50,000 tons of onion being on their way to Chittagong port and consumers are decreasing consumption of the essential cooking ingredient.

In Chittagong, onion imported from Myanmar and Egypt was selling at Khatunganj wholesale market for Tk130-150 and Tk120-130 per kg respectively, which were Tk170-180 and Tk150-160 per kg on Sunday.

On Sunday, imported onion sold between Tk180-220 per kg at the kitchen markets of the port city. 

In Chapainawabganj, increased monitoring by district administration and police resulted in onion being sold at wholesale markets on Monday at Tk140 per kilogram and at Tk150-160 per kg at retail markets, down from Tk200-210 per kg on Sunday.

However, consumers alleged that the onion sold on Monday was of inferior quality, while wholesalers said they incurred huge losses selling onion at lower rates.

At Hili, Indian onion sold at wholesale markets at Tk140-150 per kg, which  sold on Sunday at Tk180-200 per kg. Local onion sold at Tk150-160 per kg, which was Tk180 per kg even on Sunday.

In Jessore, a mobile court fined two retailers on Monday for selling onion at Tk200-220 per kg although their documents showed it was purchased at Tk120 per kg.

In Joypurhat, wholesalers sold onion on Monday at Tk170 per kg, which was as high as Tk250 per kg on Sunday.

In Madaripur, two traders were jailed and five other retailers fined by a mobile court yesterday after being found guilty of manipulating onion prices.

Before the mobile court drive, onion sold for Tk200-220 per kg, which dropped to Tk150 per kg immediately.

In Narsingdi, wholesalers sold onion on Monday at Tk160 per kg, which was between Tk180-190 per kg even on Sunday.

In Natore, wholesalers in Sadar upazila reduced onion prices on Monday after being informed of an impending mobile court drive. They sold onion at Tk160 per kg, down from their usual rate of Tk220 per kg. 

But consumers alleged traders resumed selling at high prices soon after the mobile court left the area.

Commerce secretary briefing: Meanwhile, Commerce Secretary Md Zafar Uddin on Monday said legal steps were taken against 2,500 traders for manipulating onion market.

He also assured that the onion market would soon become stable thanks to effective measures taken by the government.

“On behalf of the government, I want to assure people that the price of onion will come down soon following the government’s effective steps,” he told reporters at the Secretariat.

Onion prices started rising after India banned its export in late September. The item’s price rose to more than Tk250 per kg. Secretary Zafar said onion price increased as Myanmar hiked export price. Cyclone ‘Bulbul’ also played a part, he added.

He said the government asked businessmen to import onions from other countries. “A huge amount of onion is being brought via sea,” he informed.

Initiatives were been taken to import onions from Egypt, Turkey, and China via air cargo following the directives of the Prime Minister, he added.

Meanwhile, cargo planes carrying the first consignment of onion from abroad would  hopefully reach the country  on Tuesday  said Zafar.

“The local variety of onion has already hit the market in different districts. The activities of state-owned Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) have been strengthened (to tackle the situation),” he said.