POST TIME: 1 November, 2019 09:44:25 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 1 November, 2019 09:44:34 AM
Onion price hits Tk 150 per kg

Onion price hits Tk 150 per kg

People desperately stretch out their hands to get two kilograms of onion each from a truck-mounted fair price shop of TCB in front of the National Press Club in the capital yesterday due to its exorbitantly high price on the markets across the country. Focus Bangla Photo

The price of onions reached Tk. 150 per kg yesterday in the capital’s kitchen markets, beating the market prices of at least 20 other Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB)-listed essential commodities including oil, pulses, sugar, and ginger. Prices of the staple are increasing almost every day owing to a shortage of supply in the markets. The extra financial burden is being passed on to consumers.

Local onions are selling for Tk. 140–150 per kg, while onions imported from Myanmar and Egypt went for Tk. 130 per kg at kitchen markets in the capital. Soybean oil, pulses, sugar, and ginger are selling for Tk. 95, Tk. 55, Tk. 60, and Tk. 100 per kg respectively, TCB data revealed.

Just a month ago, on October 2, the wholesale prices of local and imported onions had ranged within

Tk. 60–70 per kg. Commerce minister Tipu Munshi provided assurance that onion prices would stabilise in the local markets from next month.

“After India’s ban on onion exports, Bangladesh started importing onions from Myanmar. But as Myanmar has also increased prices, rates in the local market are still high,” Munshi told journalists at International Convention City Bashundhara (ICCB) yesterday.

The commerce minister said that the government is importing 60,000 tonnes of onions from Egypt to cover the onion deficit in the market. Of the 60,000 tonnes, 10,000 tonnes are already on their way to Bangladesh.  

Traders and importers say prices of this essential cooking ingredient are continuing to soar due to a supply crunch and spiralling demand in the domestic market.

Abdur Rahman, a wholesale onion trader at Karwan Bazar, said the wholesale price of local onions had reached Tk. 135 per kg. He explained that the price had risen due to the supply shortage. “We bought local onions two days ago for Tk. 120 per kg and today we are selling this at Tk. 135,” he added.

Another trader said they had been selling 200 to 250 sacks of onions a day, but this had decreased to 60 to 70 sacks due to the high prices, supply shortage, and lower demand from retailers.

However, he admitted that traders were not facing losses due to the soaring prices as they made profits in any market situation.

Shafiqul Islam, a vendor from the Mowchak area, said that onion prices were rising every hour because of the lack of monitoring. He claimed prices were high owing to hoarding by importers, who had created an artificial crisis. “We are forced to sell the item at Tk. 140–150 per kg as we have purchased it at a high price,” he added.

According to TCB, the price of onions in the capital’s different kitchen markets is Tk. 125–130 per kg. Customers expressed their frustration over skyrocketing prices of the essential cooking ingredient.