National, Front Page

Onion market back to normal

Published : 20 Sep 2020 09:55 PM | Updated : 21 Sep 2020 08:59 AM

Consumers have started breathing a sigh of relief as the recent sharp rise in the prices of onion started going down after several days of price hike.

The onion market is gradually turning normal while the abnormal prices of onions have been attributed to sudden stoppage of onion export by India and creation of artificial crisis through manipulation of the syndicate.

Prices are now coming down with the arrival of Indian onions. At the same time onions have started coming from Myanmar, Turkey, Egypt and China.

As a result, there is no more panic about the onion price, the anxiety of the consumers has decreased. The government hopes to sell onions at earlier prices within the next one week.

Moving around several markets of the capital on Sunday it was found that the wholesale price of onion fell by Tk10 per kg as compared to Friday. And in the retail market it has come down to Taka 15 per kg.  Traders said the onion price will fall further.

In different retail markets of the capital, local onion is being sold at 80 to 90 taka per kg, which was 90-110 taka on Friday. On the other hand, imported Indian onions are being sold at Tk 60-70 per kg, which was Tk 70-80 per kg on Saturday.

On September 14, India stopped exporting onions to Bangladesh without prior announcement. As a result, the price of onion, which was sold at Tk 60 per kg on the same day, increased to Tk 120 in the retail market. And the wholesale price increased from 50 to 85 taka per kg. Frightened by the price hike, the buyers rushed to buy extra onions.

After 10 days, relief has started to return to the onion market in the country as the  government hopes that onions will be sold at the previous price within the next one week.

However, market analysts and diplomatic analysts have suggested importing onions from other countries as an alternative, selling onions in the open market at a fair price and keeping a close watch on syndicate traders and stockiest.

Market analysts said it is necessary to address how the price of onion jumped in the country's market within a day after India stopped exporting. Even if the market comes under control, the government will have to find unscrupulous traders' syndicates and bring them under punishment, and market monitoring must be strengthened.

However, on Saturday, trucks carrying onions imported from India started entering Bangladesh through the Healy port. Till Saturday evening, 11 trucks of onions have been imported through the port while 8 trucks of onions have entered Bangladesh through the Sonamasjid land port in Chapainawabganj. 213 metric tons of onions arrived in that 8 trucks. About 500 metric tons of onions are still stuck on the India border. Besides, 25-30 trucks of onion entered Bangladesh through the Bhomra land port of Satkhira.

Besides, after India stopped exporting onions, imports from Myanmar have started as an alternative country. On Saturday, the first shipment of onions arrived from Myanmar. 30 metric tons of onions were imported in two trawlers.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, the price of onion has been increased abnormally by creating an artificial crisis through a syndicate. Last year too, the unscrupulous clique took advantage in the same manner. This time the Bangladesh Competition Commission (BCC) is working to prevent monopoly in the country's market, has organized a meeting this week. Representatives of the Ministry of Commerce, Tariff Commission, Ministry of Agriculture and intelligence agencies will be called for the meeting.

Commerce Minister TipuMunshi recently said that the government has taken various initiatives from day one to bring relief to the onion market. “Meanwhile, a consignment of onions has arrived from Myanmar. Onions will be imported through the country's top consumer goods traders. Besides, TCB has already announced the sale of onions online. TCB's online sales activities are going to start soon. Hopefully we can control the onion market,” the minister said.