Onion price starts falling in city markets

The onion price is dropping gradually in the city markets with a significant price bump for the last couple of days as India withdrew a five months long export ban on February 26. The onion market was overheated for the last few months and it is now dropping as the new harvest has already hit the market alongside the expectation of onion import from India this month.

The per kg onion now sells at Taka 60-70 by reducing the price by Taka 20-30 from Taka 80-110 a week ago in the city market, said retailer Manir at Kawran Bazar which is the main hub in the city’s daily essentials.

At the same time, the wholesale price of newly arrived local onions are being sold in the range of Taka 40-41 per kg from the earlier price of Taka 55-70 while the Myanmar variety is now being sold at Taka 50-55 against Taka 65-70 a week ago, said Mosharraf Hossain, a wholesaler of city’s Shyambazar.

“There is no chance to increase the onion price in the city market and the price would become stable during the month of Ramadan,” said Haji Mazed, President of Bangladesh Onion Import Association. When contacted, Narayan Chandra Saha, a Shyambazar-based importer, said onion import from India will start this month.

He expressed the hope that the prices of onion will decline significantly in Bangladesh if India doesn’t set minimum export price (MEP). Asked about the onion price trend during the Ramadan, Saha said local onion production is also showing an upward trend. “So, there is nothing to be worried about onion prices even in the upcoming month of Ramadan.”

Wholesale prices of local murikata (early) and haali (seasonal) declined to Tk 50-55 at Shyambazar on Sunday evening from Tk 70-75 a kg on Thursday. The Indian government decided to lift the ban on onion exports on February 26 amid a steep decline in its wholesale prices in Maharashtra, Karnataka and other states of the country.

India imposed the export ban in the last week of September 2019. After imposition of the ban, onion markets became volatile in Bangladesh. Its prices gradually rose and hit an all-time high of Tk 270 a kg in November last. The prices declined to some extent in December but never came below Tk 130-140 a kg.

The country has a demand for 24-25 lakh tonnes of onion. It also imports another 10-11 lakh tonnes of onion mainly from India.