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Dhaka starts open market sale of onion to arrest price hike
in Dhaka as import drops

Dhaka starts open market sale of onion to arrest price hike

Dhaka, Sept 17 – The government has started selling onion through the state-owned Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) on yesterday at Tk 45 per kg to cool down the hike rates of this widely consumed item in the local markets.Meanwhile, Commerce Secretary Mohammed Zafaruddin announced that Bangladesh government has decided to import onion from Turkey, Myanmar and China to improve supply in a bid to bring down prices at kitchen market.
Onion prices surged overnight after traders hiked rates in the wake of restriction imposed by India on shipments of tubers to other countries to contain its domestic prices.
The TCB started selling onions in a subsidized price at five spots in Dhaka. A buyer can purchase a maximum of two kilos of onion from the spots.
The sale will go on in trucks in front of the National Press Club, Dilkusha Bok Chattar in Motijheel, in Khamarbari, Mohammadpur, and Mirpur.
“Although the sale was scheduled to begin from 10am, it began at 9am in many places,” TCB spokesperson Humayun Kabir said. “The number of spots will increase gradually.”
Earlier, the decision was made to sell onion in the open market on Sunday (September 16), chaired by Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi. The government decided to sell the open market to curb skyrocketing price of onions.
Both local and Indian onions sold at Tk 80 per kilogramme (kg) in different kitchen markets in Dhaka with a maximum hike of Tk 30 per kg which prompted the government to sell by TCB.
The price went up in the capital’s kitchen markets for last few days due to India’s decision to curb exports, the major source for the item for Bangladesh.
The Ministry of Commerce has also sent a letter to the Bangladesh Bank to take necessary steps to reduce the LC margin and interest rate in the onion import.
In addition, a letter has been sent to the authorities concerned in the ports to expedite release of the imported onions and ensure smooth transport.
On the other hand, Commerce Secretary Mohammed Zafaruddin made the announcement of import onion from Turkey, Myanmar and China after a meeting with stakeholders at his office.
In order to check the price hike of onion in domestic market, the Indian government had fixed MEP at $850 per ton, which took effect on Friday, a significant bump from the previous MEP at $250-$300 a ton.
“Prices of per ton onion was $380 to $400 last week, which went up to $850. AS a result, prices of imported onion in the kitchen market rose sharply,” onion importer Mohammad Hafiz told Dhaka Tribune.
Besides, the production of onion has been less compared to previous year while the production also fell in India, he claimed, adding that bad weather hampered preservation of onion.
Anil Thakur, an Indian onion exporter, told Dhaka Tribune that the recent flash floods in several Indian states disrupted onion cultivation, which resulted in very low yield.
“This led to onions being sold at Rs50 per kilogram across India, which reflects a huge rise in onion prices,” he said, adding, “The government intends to control the local onion prices, and discourage its export to Bangladesh for the time being.”
Earlier, The sudden decision to raise onion export price to $852 per tonne by the Indian Agricultural Product Regulatory Authority on Friday has badly affected the Bangladeshi market.
Earlier, each tonne of onion was imported at $300 to $410.
As a result of the decision by the Indian authorities, the onion price in the retail markets of Bangladesh has raised by Tk30 per kg within three days. – Staff Reporter

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