Imports fail to curb onion prices in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Onion prices continue to remain high in Dhaka kitchen markets, despite imports coming in from neighbouring India. In markets like Anondobazar and Shyambazar, onions are retailing between Tk 80 and Tk 120 (€0.80-1.20).

Although some 1,000 tons of onions came to the country through Satkhira’s Bhomra land port in the last three days, traders say they are yet to get the imports. According to Ashikur Rahman, an Anandabazar trader, there is still a supply shortage in the capital, which is leading to a spike in onion prices in the capital markets.

“The prices of onions have already doubled over the week, following a ban imposed by the Indian government. Today I bought only local onions from the wholesale market at Tk 75 a kg. There is transportation cost too. So, I am selling onions for over Tk 100 to customers. We are yet to get Indian onions," he said.

Ashikur said Bangladesh is dependent on India for most products, not just onions. “If the Indian government imposes a ban on a single product, then it has a cascading effect on Bangladesh markets. Besides, many businessmen hoard onions to make extra money at times of shortage."

Shaha fears that onion prices could see a sharp rise in the coming days if the Indian government doesn't lift the ban on exports to Bangladesh. Onion is a seasonal crop and its shortage during the offseason often leads to price rise. “However, after September 30, onion prices may stabilise as imports are likely to come in from Pakistan, Turkey and Myanmar."


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