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Onion price sees sharp fall as Indian variety hits market

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 5 January, 2021 12:00 AM
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Onion price sees sharp fall as Indian variety hits market
A huge quantity of onions is kept at Khatunganj wholesale market in Chattogram city. Onion supply has increased after the start of import from India. The photo was taken on Monday. —Rabin chowdhury

Chattogram: Onion price has declined sharply in the wholesale markets of the port city as truckloads of Indian onions started arriving the market since Sunday.

Sources at the city’s largest wholesale market at Khatunganj said around 10 truckloads of Indian onion reached the market over the last two days.

Most of the onions have been sold even before offloading from the trucks as the Indian onion is preferred by the consumers.

 Ten trucks carried some 130 to 140 tonnes of onion. Though the quantity is very low compared to the demand, the new supply helped lower onion prices.

Sources said the important cooking ingredient from India was selling at Tk 45 to Tk 50 per kg at the wholesale markets and Tk 60 to Tk 65 at the retail markets on Monday. 

Onion imported from Turkey was selling at Tk 15 to 20 and Tk 35 to 40 per kg depending on the quality and size while those of Myanmar was selling at Tk 25 to Tk 35 a kg. Egyptian onion was selling at Tk 25 to Tk 28 kg while onion imported from New Zealand was selling at Tk 18 to Tk 20 a kg. Local onion was selling at Tk 32 to Tk 35 per kg at the wholesale markets.

The average price has dropped by Tk 10 to Tk 15 a kg after the Indian ones hit the market.

Sources said around 23,000 tonnes of onion are still lying at Chattogram Port after arriving from different countries except for India.

With this, there are some 40,000 tonnes of onions in stock in Chattogram. The importers fear loss due to the sudden arrival of Indian onions in the country.

The Indian government withdrew the ban imposed earlier on onion export after 108 days on January 1.

Concerned businessmen said the sudden declaration of resuming Indian onion export is compelling them to count losses and it will affect the importers and onion growers.

 Importers will not import onions from other countries if the same crisis centring onion takes place in future, they said. 

Commission agent Md Ruhul Amin Chowdhury Regan of M/S Hazi Osi Uddin Sawdagar at Khatungan said they brought Indian onions and those have already been sold from the vehicles.

They were selling Indian ones at Tk 45 to Tk 48 to the customers, but some other varieties from Holland, Turkey and New Zealand were seen lying unsold even having low prices, he added.

Khatunganj Hamidullah Market Traders Association General Secretary Mohammad Idris said the government should have not allowed importing onions from India when the traders have sufficient stock of local and imported onions.

“We cannot deny the influence and taste of Indian ones, but the authority should consider the business condition of the importers by providing extra times to clear the stocked onions,” he observed.

The concerned authority also should take immediate step to save the traders and farmers who are going to witness huge losses, he added.