CHATTOGRAM: Import of onion through sea routes is on the rise as Chittagong Port's Plant Quarantine Centre issued a total of 305 Import Permissions (IP) to import onion from nearly half a dozen countries across the globe in the last 10 days.
Deputy Director of Chittagong Port Plant Quarantine Centre Dr Muhammed Asaduzzaman Bulbul told the Financial Express they issued 13 IPs to import 4,224 metric tonnes (MT) onions on Thursday while they have issued a total of 305 IPs to import a total of 1, 38,965 MT onions from 11 countries from Sept 15 to Sept 25.
He said the countries are Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, Myanmar, New Zealand, South Africa, The Netherlands, Malaysia, Ukraine, China and India.
The importers, who want to diversify the sources of onion import, are looking for more onion exporting countries to import the kitchen staple, he said adding, "I hope with the increase in onion import through sea routes, the prevailing crisis of onion in local markets will be solved."
Mohammed Sekanddar, a wholesaler at Khatunganj, a key business hub in the port city, said big importers of Bangladesh are opening letters of credit (LC) for importing onions from different countries which is very positive for the (local) markets."
However, he said, "Stock of onions at Khatunganj and Chaktai is good and the price is stable at wholesales in Chattogram now."
Port sources said, big business groups importing large quantities of onions include S Alam Group and BSM Group.
S Alam Group opened LC for importing 20,000 MT onions from several countries including Egypt, Turkey and Netherlands on Sept 20 last. BSM Group has also opened LC for importing 5,000 MT onions from Holland and Egypt.