The recent ban on onion export imposed in India has led traders to look for alternatives
Traders initiated the process of importing onions from alternative countries well ahead of the ban on onion exports slapped by India.
So far, the traders have taken permission from the authorities concerned to import 11,000 tons of onions from five countries.
Dr Md Ashaduzzaman Bulbul, deputy director of Chittagong Plant Quarantine Station (Sea Port), confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune on Tuesday.
Getting hint of a possible export ban by India, the traders of the country initiated the process well ahead to import onions from alternative countries.
They began the process of taking import permission from September 3.
According to the information provided by Chittagong Plant Quarantine Station (Sea Port), 24 enterprises have so far taken permission for importing 10,091 metric tons of onions from China, Myanmar, Pakistan, Egypt, and Turkey.
Dr Md Ashaduzzaman Bulbul told Dhaka Tribune that they were avoiding delays in issuing the import permit (IP) in order to release the imported onions as quickly as possible.
The ban on onion export slapped by India has already triggered a price hike in both wholesale and retail markets in Chittagong.
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According to Khatunganj market wholesalers, Indian onions were sold at Tk38 to Tk40 per kilogram on Monday.
However, prices shot up to Tk55 to Tk60 per kilogram at the commodity hub on Tuesday.
Visiting various kitchen markets of the port city, it was found that onions imported from India retailed at Tk50 per kg on Monday.
However, the price jumped to Tk70, after just one day on Tuesday.
On Monday, India banned exports of all varieties of onions with immediate effect to cap its rising prices in the domestic market.
Like the previous year, floods have ruined most of India's onion production, prompting the supply crunch.
On September 29 last year, India imposed a ban on the export of onions to Bangladesh due to a price hike of the item in its domestic market.
The restriction fuelled up onion prices in Bangladesh almost overnight, skyrocketing to Tk250 per kilogram.
India had lifted the prohibition on March 15 this year.