Arifur Rahman Rabbi
Onion continues to prick the consumers in Dhaka kitchen markets for the past three days after the imposition of lockdown to control the coronavirus infection.
Its retail price went up by Tk 5 to Tk 10 per kilogram at places across the city. Now onion is being sold around Tk 40 per kg, which was a week ago around Tk 30 to Tk 35.
Onion is one of most one of the most sought-after commodities during Ramadan. Although Ramadan is one week away, the price has already gone up for the lockdown, retailers said.
However, the sellers claimed that people are buying essential commodities, fearing a shortage of necessities for the last two days.
The traders said that stock of onion came to nil in many retail shops on Saturday evening after the announcement of lockdown as consumers went on a buying spree and the wholesalers increased the price the next morning.
At Shantinagar kitchen market, a buyer was seen venting his anger over the increased price. He said that he bought onions at Tk 30 a few days ago. The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh sells it at Tk 20, he said. 'The price increased by Tk 10 in a week. The government should monitor it,' he added.
Retailers Khorshed, Babul and some others at the market said that they had nothing to do with the price as they had to buy onion at higher prices from the wholesale market. They said that they bought onion at Tk 35 per kg from wholesale markets and retailed it at Tk 40 per kg.
The retailers predicted that the price of onion would further increase ahead of Ramadan if the wholesale market was not monitored.
Wholesalers Hridoy, Shafikul Islam and others at Karwan Bazar told The Business Post that they were selling onion at Tk 160-170 per lot of 5 kilogram, which was Tk 150-160 a week ago.
The wholesalers said that panic buying of onions in the past few days had created shortage in the market and it contributed to the increase of price.