No respite as onion prices keep soaring

Bilkis Irani
Published : 04:00, Oct 20, 2019 | Updated : 04:00, Oct 20, 2019

Onion (Photo: Nashirul Islam)The prices of onion increased again in kitchen markets after supplies dwindled over the past week.
Visiting several wholesale and retail kitchen markets in the capital, including Rampura, Malibagh, Modhubagh, Shukrabad and Karwanbazar on Friday, it was found that retail prices of onion increased again by Tk10-15 per kilogram compared to last week.
Rafiqul Islam, a wholesaler at Karwanbazar, said onion prices had started to fall following huge imports from Myanmar, Egypt and Turkey.
"But supplies again began to drop in the past few days, resulting in price hike yet again," he added.
The local variety of onion sold for Tk100-110 per kg in Dhaka's retail markets on Saturday, up from Tk95-100 per kg last week.
Imported onion retailed for Tk90-95 per kg, which was Tk80-85 last week.
In wholesale markets, imported onion sold for Tk80-85 per kg, while the local onion sold for Tk90-95, up from Tk85-90 per kg last week.
On September 29, the Indian government banned the export of onion with immediate effect until further order in order to improve their domestic availability of onions.
Before that, the Indian government had fixed minimum export price of onion to rein in soaring prices in their domestic market.
Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) began open market sale (OMS) at various points across Dhaka, while the government also imported onion from different countries, which caused onion prices to fall a bit.
Vegetable prices up, fish prices unchanged
The prices of vegetables remained high yesterday, according to Sabbir Ahmed, a retail trader at Rampura kitchen market.
"Tomato sold for Tk120 per kg, okra for Tk60 per kg, aubergine for Tk60-80 per kg, papaya for Tk25-30 per kg, bitter gourd for Tk60 per kg and cucumber for Tk50-60 per kg," he added.
Prices of green chilies also increased, selling for Tk120 per kg, up from Tk60-80 per kg, Sabbir also said.
The price of eggs remained same as last week, selling for Tk105 per dozen.
The price of broiler chicken remained unchanged over the week and the item was selling for Tk135-140 a kg. Locally bred hens were selling for Tk500 per kg.
The prices of fish remained unchanged in the city markets over the week.
Rui was selling for Tk250-320 per kg and Katla for Tk250-350 per kg, Tilapia for Tk120-180 per kg, catfish for Tk450 per kg, mid-sized catfish for Tk600 per kg.
Iqbal Hussain, from Mohanagar Project in Rampura, said the prices of essential items were consistently high for the past few weeks, despite local traders refusing to acknowledge it.
"They make profit out of our miseries," he lamented.