• Friday, Dec 03, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:52 am

Onion and chili prices skyrocket again

  • Published at 08:36 pm October 5th, 2021
chili-onion
Representational image Bigstock

‘Should I buy rice and vegetables or just feed green chili or onion to my family?'

The prices of local onions and green chilis in Dhaka’s grocery shops and wet markets skyrocketed in the last two days, which traders have blamed on a shortage of supply. 

Local onion prices settled at Tk68-76 per kg as of Tuesday — about Tk15-20 higher than the prices charged two days ago. 

According to data by the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), the price of local onions increased by 49.43% in a month, while that of imported onions witnessed a 29.41% hike. A month ago, local onions sold for Tk42-45 per kg while imported onions cost Tk40-45 per kg.


Also Read - Prices of commodities, including vegetables, remain high


Meanwhile, green chili prices settled at Tk200 per kg on Tuesday, which is about Tk80 more than the prices charged two days ago.

After a month and a half of closure due to rising prices in the country's market, the import of chili resumed from September 25 through the Hili port, according to sources at the port. 

Kibria Sarker, a grocer at Hatirpool wet market, also said the shortage in supply had been caused by low imports. 

“Moreover, onion and green chili are usually in high demand ahead of the Durga Puja,” he added.

Another grocer Motiur Rahaman said onion prices have gone up in the wholesale market, adding that this happened last year as well around this time.

Gopal Kundu, who works at the Hatirpool wet market, said: “Chili prices were between Tk90-120 per kg just three days ago, but now prices have surpassed Tk200 per kg. Onions sold for Tk45-55 per kg a week ago. But now onions are worth Tk68-76 per kg as imported onions are not largely available to retailers.

“If prices go up, people think that retailers are bagging the money. But we buy from wholesalers at a higher rate so we have to sell at higher prices as well,” he added.

Shahed Ali, who came to buy essentials at the Karwan Bazar wet market, said festivals are always subject to price hikes of essentials, even if there is no shortage. 

He blamed the traders for pushing up prices to profit off the upcoming Durga Puja. 

Another customer Lutfor Hasan, a rickshaw puller, said: “Green chili prices have gone up by a lot, how can I afford it? The government should import more to stabilize the prices. Only 250g green chili is worth Tk50!

“Should I buy rice and vegetables or just feed green chili or onion to my family?” he said.

SM Nazer Hossain, vice-president of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB), said some unscrupulous traders seek opportunities in every situation. 


Also Read - Edible oil, sugar prices see hike


“Amid the pandemic, they blamed price hikes on supply chain disruptions and transport issues, and since everything is operational at the moment, they are blaming floods, low imports, and other issues,” he added.

Hossain said the onion and green chili price hikes are man-made crises. 

“If you go to the fields, you will see that farmers are not making a profit. It is the middle-men and syndicates who are cashing in on the crisis due to lax market monitoring,” he explained.

As these are perishable goods, if people just buy less by ignoring the hype, prices will automatically come down, he suggested.

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