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First time in 15 years

Bangladesh to import onions from Pakistan

Last week, Pakistan exporters received the first onions order of more than 300 tons from Bangladesh after nearly 15 years of recess following an Indian ban on the vegetable’s outbound shipment to its neighbouring country.

An official of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) confirmed that Bangladesh’s Tasho Enterprise finalised deals with a Karachi-based Roshan Enterprise, says the English-language Pakistan daily.

India has slapped a ban on exports of onion to Bangladesh due to its local shortage amid floods. Bangladesh imports 700,000 to 1.1 million tons of onion a year and of which around 75 per cent was imported from India. The ban caused surge in prices to new heights in Bangladesh, as the market was heavily dependent on Indian supply.

In Dhaka, consumers are being asked to pay Tk 120 ($1.42) per kilogram for onions - twice the price a fortnight ago and the highest since December 2013.

According to the Pakistani newspaper, the official said Bangladesh is also looking for import options from countries like Turkey, Myanmar and Egypt to meet the demand in the local market. “This (ban) has created market potential for Pakistan.”

The official said the onion trade was also agreed in government-to-government level talks. An exporter believes the export price would be much more viable for Bangladesh considering the current onion price in the market.

“The shipment value from Pakistan would be around $600/ton,” Waheed Ahmed, patron-in-chief of All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association, told He said one container carries approximately 28 tons.

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