Onion prices have begun to fall, after a sudden burst, as imports of the essential cooking item began via various land ports from India on Monday.
However, the price fall at the retail level was slow on the day, with traders saying it will take some time to adjust. They hope the retail price will come down the day after tomorrow.
Visiting the various kitchen markets in the capital, this correspondent found out that local onions were being sold at Tk 90-95 per kg, down from Tk 95-100 per kg a day ago.
The prices of onion increased by Tk 15-20 in just three days, hitting a two-year high on Sunday.
Md Yusuf, a retailer of Maniknagar at Dhaka, said, “On Sunday, we had to buy onion from Shyambazar at wholesale price of Tk 90 per kg. The price fell to Tk 80-82 per kg on Monday.
“But I still have the stock I bought on Sunday, which I am now selling at a lower price. The prices in the retail market will decrease further by tomorrow.”
The government has decided to allow onion import from Monday following a continuous hike in prices of the essential commodity in recent days.
The Ministry of Agriculture took the decision on Sunday to protect the interest of the consumers and alleviate the sufferings of low-income people.
According to agriculture ministry sources, the Department of Agricultural Extension began to approve import permits for onion imports Monday morning.
A total of 210 IP for importing 2.80 lakh tonnes of onion was sanctioned on the first day.
Harun or Rashid, general secretary of the Importers Association of Hili, said, “Onion import has already started through the land ports. Three trucks with 25-30 tonnes of onions entered Bangladesh through our Hili port today. A few more trucks are waiting to enter Bangladesh which will hopefully enter tomorrow.”
He said onion prices at the wholesale level started to decrease due to the imports.
The price of onion was Tk 80 per kg in Hili on Sunday, which is being sold at Tk 50, reduced by 30 taka per kg on Monday, he added.
Meanwhile, importers said they can import Indian Nasik varieties of onions at the rate of Tk 25-28 per kg, by adding all import costs including duty and damage cost.
It is only logical that onion is sold at the maximum price of Tk 35-40 in Dhaka market, they said, adding that if the government continues to allow imports, onion prices are unlikely to rise in the country.