FE Today Logo

India imposes ban on onion exports

Local market sees fresh price hike

FE REPORT | September 30, 2019 00:00:00

The price of onion marked a fresh hike in the local market as Indian government on Sunday banned the export of all varieties of onion for an indefinite period.

India also restricted stock limits on both retail and wholesale traders following a price surge of the commodity there, according to the local media.

Onion was selling at 70-80 rupee a kilogram in the Indian capital of New Delhi, the Hindu reported the same day.

Following the India's export ban, onion prices in different kitchen markets in Dhaka soared by Tk 10 per kg to Tk 90 on Sunday evening.

On September 13, India raised its maximum export price of onion to $850 a tonne, pushing up prices of the item in Bangladesh market.

As such, onion prices rose up by Tk 20-25 a kg at retail level here.

The key kitchen commodity retailed at Tk 75-80 (local) and Tk 65-70 (imported) a kg as of Sunday noon.

The government has already taken steps like open market sale (OMS), enhanced market watch and meetings with key traders to stabilise onion prices.

However, the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) has been selling onion at Tk 45 a kg through 16 trucks since September 16 in the capital.

Earlier in the day, Commerce secretary Dr Md Jafar Uddin said the Indian ban is unlikely to affect the local market adversely as the government has taken steps to rein in onion prices.

"The supply of onion in the market is satisfactory. Two ships from Myanmar with imported onion will arrive here shortly," he added. Besides, the import of onion from Turkey and Egypt is in the pipeline, the secretary continued.

However, TCB spokesperson Humayun Kabir said the volume of onion to be sold under OMS would be raised to 35 tonnes from today (Monday) through 35 trucks.

Narayan Chandra Saha, a Shyambazar-based importer in the city, said, "The Indian ban would surely impact our market as Indian onion comprises a notable amount."

Our Chattogram Correspondent adds: The wholesale onion market is in a turmoil as a result of the Indian restrictions on exports of the spice.

Sources said importers at Khatunganj, Chaktai and Asadganj stopped selling onion wholesale from Sunday evening in an attempt to stockpile for higher prices.

A spot visit to different wholesale markets found many traders and importers waiting for higher rates. They stopped selling onion to retailers.

Importer Mohammed Sekandar said, "India has banned onion exports. So, prices are likely to rise again."

Wholesalers are yet to make a decision on the sale of imported onion at new rates," told the FE.

Mohammed Abul Kalam, a wholesaler, said onion is being imported from Myanmar. "Every day 15 to 20 trucks of onion are being imported from Myanmar and more than 120 trucks from India to Khatunganj, Chaktai and Asadganj."

Retail buyers said traders were selling onion at Tk 60-65 a kg the same day.

[email protected][email protected]

and [email protected]

Share if you like