The Financial Express
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Onion prices mark fall in city markets

| Updated: September 20, 2020 10:28:46

Onion prices fall in city markets

Prices of onion declined by Tk 10-20 per kg in the city on Saturday, thanks to release of onion consignment from India that was stranded in the border since Monday morning.

Local onion was sold at Tk 80-100 per kg while the imported Indian onion at Tk 65-75 per kg in the retail market on Saturday.

The Indian government on September 19 allowed onion-laden trucks to Bangladesh having 25,000 tonnes of onion, whose letter of credit (L/C) were settled before September 14.

According to the Customs offices in Hilli, Benapole, Sonamoshjid,  Bhomra and other land ports, above 850 trucks with onion were stranded in the Indian parts of the border since Monday last.

However, the Indian government on September 14 imposed an export ban on onion to tackle its internal market which caused more than 100 per cent hike in prices in Bangladesh just in three days.

However, prices of the spice witnessed a decline at key wholesales like Shyambazar in Dhaka for last two days.

Good quality local onion was sold at Tk 72-74 a kg, Indian onion at Tk 60-65 a kg at Shyambazar on Saturday morning, Narayan Chandra Saha, a trader said.

He said prices have been declining amid several measures taken by the government and private sector.

He said quick opening of L/C for importing onion from other sources than India by some local traders have worked a lot.

He said releasing of onion by India under settled L/Cs also put positive impact.

He said demand has also declined to some extent amid a panic buying by the city dwellers between Monday night and Tuesday which helped reducing sale for now.

He said open market sale (OMS) by the government also helps easing the price.

"But import from other countries should start quickly before the end of stock of imported Indian onion," he said.

He said key hubs of local onion like Faridpur, Rajbari, Natore, Bogura, Kushtia, Pabna, Jhinedah should be brought under strict monitoring.

However, onion-laden trucks have started to enter Bangladeshi land ports from Saturday noon, said sources.

Many importers were, however, in fear of damage of the spices largely due to the six-day delay.

Md Yousuf, a Dinajpur and Kurigram based importer, said his one truck of onion (25 tonnes) was stuck up at Indian part of Hilli land port since Monday morning.  

The delay might cause 35-40 per cent damage of the onion amid lack of sunshine and air in time, he said.

However, Bangladeshi traders have opened L/Cs for importing 79,000 tonnes of onion from Myanmar, Turkey, Egypt, Netherlands until Thursday, according to the Plant Quarantine Wing of Chattogram.

The commerce ministry also said there is a stock of 0.56 million tonnes of onion in the country now while monthly demand is 0.2 million tonnes.

However, the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) continued its OMS programme through 275 truck points in the country including 40 in Dhaka city.

TCB was selling onion at a subsidised rate of Tk 30 a kg.

Bangladesh produced 1.91 million tonnes of onion this year.

The country also imported 0.55 million tonnes of onion in January-August period of this year, said the commerce ministry.








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