Onion prices are likely to come down within 24 hours.
Dr Md Jafar Uddin, secretary, Ministry of Commerce, and Abu Raihan Alberuni, member (trade policy department) of Tariff Commission, have expressed the optimism at a meeting with several stakeholders at the Ministry of Commerce in the capital on Tuesday.Abu Raihan Alberuni said, “We’re confident enough that the prices of onions would come down after this meeting. We want positive help from journalists.”
He, however, did not explain what steps have been taken in this regard.
While speaking about the reasons for hike in onion prices, he said, “Our analysis found that our annual demand is 24 lakh metric tonnes of onions. This year, the country produced 23,76,000 metric tonnes of onions, but 30 percent of them got rotten. Because of this, we’ve to import 10-11 lakh metric tonnes of onions.”
“The LC has finished for 12,71,830 metric tonnes of onions till September 16. Locally, 16 lakh metric tonnes of onions have been produced. Around 28 lakh metric tonnes of onions have been stored in the country which is enough to meet local demand,” he said.
“New onion will be harvested in the second week of December. Because of favourable weather and agriculture system, new onion will be harvested one month ahead of India,” he said, adding that following harvest of Indian onions, the tariff will be withdrawn.
The commerce secretary said the skyrocketing price of onion won’t continue after this meeting following tightening of market monitoring.“If needed, we’ll sit again after 2-3 days. We’ve also discussed about import of onions from Myanmar or other countries,” he said.
Onion prices surged overnight after traders hiked rates in the wake of restrictions imposed by India on shipments of tubers to other countries to contain its domestic prices.
The Indian authorities slapped $850 (Tk 71,821) as minimum export price for per tonne of onion on September 13, a move that made onion market highly volatile here as Bangladesh meets a portion of its annual demand for the key cooking ingredient through imports for inadequate domestic production.