Local onion out of stock at kitchen markets
Onion prices are still high both in retail and wholesale markets of Dhaka with a slight drop in retail market.
Visiting several kitchen markets in the capital on Wednesday including Malibagh, Rampura, Shukrabad and Karwanbazar, it was found that though the retail market witnessed a fall in prices by around Tk20-50 per kilogram, prices went up by Tk10 in wholesale markets due to transport strike and other reasons.
It was found that local onion was out of stock in kitchen markets. Visiting Karwan Bazaar kitchen market, local onions were hardly seen on display at shops. Only big sized onions imported from China, Egypt, Turkey and Myanmar, were found available.
When asked, Md Liton Miya, wholesale trader of Karwan Bazaar, said: “Wholesalers are not buying fresh local onions now as people are less interested in buying those. Besides officials of district administration and Directorate of National Consumers' Right Protection are conducting drives in the market, which rendered wholesalers reluctant to buy local onions and risk their businesses."
Ridoy Mollik, another shop owner at Karwan Bazaar, who had no local onion stock in his shop, said: “Fresh local onions are not coming to Dhaka due to the ongoing transport strike. So we are having stock shortage and the price has increased a bit. Hopefully, the situation will change in a few days.”
On the other hand, a joint drive, led by officials of district administration and Directorate of National Consumers' Right Protection, fined seven shop owners in Karwan Bazaar Tk17,000 for selling onions at high prices.
While visiting different markets in Dhaka, it was found that local varieties of onions were retailing at Tk160-180 per kg, while onion imported from Myanmar sold at Tk120-130 a kg. But in wholesale market, onions were sold at higher prices than retail market.
The newly imported onions from China, Egypt, Turkey were selling at Tk100-120, Tk160 and Tk120 respectively.
Mustofa Jabbar, a consumer from Malibagh, said: “Due to lax monitoring and strict action, traders as a syndicate increased the prices of onions. Now salt traders are trying to do the same. However, the government took stern action over salt issue and quickly resolved it. If the government would take similar actions over onion price, then the situation would have been different.”
On Sunday, local onions sold as high as Tk250 a kg in the city’s kitchen markets and those imported from Myanmar at Tk230-240 throughout last week, breaking all the previous records. The prices of onion hit Tk220 on November 14, which hovered between Tk130 and Tk140 on November 9 in the capital.