Dhaka, Bangladesh
Price of onion falling in city markets

Price of onion falling in city markets

Govt importing 50,000 tonnes of onion by cargo planes

News Report: Prices of onions have dropped in the city markets with the arrival of local variety of onions. The price of onion saw a significant fall by Tk 40-60 per kg at the wholesale market while by Tk 10-20 at the retail market on Tuesday with many traders still passing idle time for lack of buyers. The essential cooking ingredient was selling at Tk 100-130 a kg against Monday's Tk 160-170 at the wholesale market and at Tk 160-190 at the retail market. Traders said the onion price might keep falling till Friday and reach a stable level on Saturday. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Tuesday said the government is importing 50,000 metric tonnes of onions by cargo planes to contain price hike of the essential cooking ingredient. "The government has started increasing the supply of onion in local market through raising its import by air and sea," he told a press conference at the secretariat here. He said around 12,000 MT onion started reaching the country through the sea. From the Egyptian capital of Cairo, the first consignment of onion by a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight will reach Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport via Jeddah at midnight on November 20, he said. Then the onion will continuously to come to the capital everyday through the passenger and cargo planes, he said, adding the imported onion would be sold at fair prices through the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB). TCB will sell the onion through the vehicles and their appointed dealers, Munshi said. The government has begun importing onion from Egypt and Turkey as an alternative way as India suspended the export of the bulb and Myanmar raised minimum export price (MEP). The onion import by the sea is time consuming, so the government is importing the daily cooking ingredient through the cargo planes, said the minister. To curb onion import dependency, Tipu Munshi said special steps have been taken to fulfill the country's annual onion demand by increasing its production from the next season. "The government has taken special projects for preservation of onion so that it becomes available round-the-year, the minister noted. The country annually needs to import 8-10 lakh MT of onion where most of the onions are being imported from India. Commerce Secretary Dr M Jafar Uddin was present at the press conference. Another report adds: The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) will hold a meeting on November 24 with all the concerned stakeholders including traders of the essential items to keep the price of them like onion and salt stable. The country's apex trade body took the decision in the wake of various rumours and price hike of essentials like onion and salt in the country. The FBCCI also requested the traders of the consumer and essential items not to resort to any kind of unethical means to gain access profit. Talking to BSS, the FBCCI vice-president Siddiqur Rahman said the price of onion has already started to reduce and it would come down to normalcy and to a tolerable level within the next few days. Turning to the huge buying spree of salt by the consumers on Tuesday, he suspected that rumours might have led the consumers to buy salt to a huge volume. Siddiqur also urged the consumers not to pay heed to any kind of rumours adding, "There could be no reason for price hike of salt in the country as sufficient quantity of salt is stored." He said, "Essential items are always sophisticated and I'll request all not to resort to any kind of unethical means to gain access profit. Besides, suggestions and opinions from the businessmen and traders will also be taken in the meeting to keep the market of essentials stable." Meanwhile, the Ministry of Industries today said that there is no shortage of salt in the country and it would be possible to meet the demand of salt for the next five months with the present stock adding, "Besides, it's also high time for producing salt. So, the apprehension of increasing the price of salt is completely a rumour." Industries Secretary Md Abdul Halim told BSS that the country has now a stock of over 6.5 lakh tonnes of salt across the country including 4.05 lakh tonnes to the farmers in Chattogram and Cox's Bazar while the rest of 2.45 lakh tonnes to the godowns of various salt mills. "The demand of refined salt in the country per month is one lakh tonnes whereas the current stock is over 6.5 lakh tonnes. In that consideration, there is no question of arising any crisis and shortage of salt," he added. The Industries Secretary informed that Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) has already started to enhance its distribution system so that any vested quarter could not destabilize the market. "Besides, the government as well as the field-administration has also remained very much alert in this regard." Talking to the national news agency, Narayanganj Salt Mills Owners Association President Paritosh Kanti Saha said there is a no shortage of salt in the country as sufficient quantity of salt is stored. "It's completely a rumour that the price of salt will increase in the wake of salt shortage."

Share |