Onion, ginger rise in city mkt

Dhaka,  Thu,  21 September 2017
Published : 02 Aug 2017, 00:45:13

Onion, ginger rise in city mkt

FE Report

Prices of onion and ginger witnessed a significant hike in last few days in the city kitchen markets, adding to the woes of consumers further.

Traders have attributed surge in import price, heavy rain and dilapidated roads to the hike in the prices of onion and ginger. Heavy downpour has caused a shortage of supply, they said.

However, market observers said prices of onion and ginger soared due to market domination by big traders and importers.

Local varieties of onion were sold at Tk 42-Tk 48 a kg on Tuesday, up by Tk 8-Tk 13. Imported Indian varieties also showed a Tk 10 hike as traded at Tk 32-Tk 40 a kg on the day.    

State-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) recorded above 40 per cent price hike of the key spice item in last seven days.

Md Motiur Rahman, a grocer at Shankar in Dhanmondi, said onion price increased by Tk 200-Tk 350 per 50-kg sack in last seven days at Karwan Bazar.

"Traders said prices may rise further if rain continues for more days," he said. "Every trader has a good stock of onion but the price is higher."

Narayan Chandra Saha, spice trader and importer at Shyambazar wholesale market in the city, said onion prices increased both in India and domestic market.

He said Taherpuri variety was sold at Tk1400- Tk 1440 per maund in Faridpur, Kushtia, Natore and Pabna due to shortage of vehicles caused by rain.

Onion prices increased by 118 per cent in last two weeks in India, he said.

"But the prices of onion between Shyambazar wholesale and city retails are much higher which should be brought under scrutiny," he also pointed out.

However, many importers said prices of foreign onion might surge further as the Indian government was thinking to fix minimum export price (MEP) for the item amid a hike in prices in their domestic market. Secretary of Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) Advocate Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan said despite a significant hike in onion prices in India, FOB price is still Tk 18 a kg. He said average wholesale price of onion at Nasalgaon, Maharashtra in India is 12.50 rupee (Tk 15) a kg for last two weeks despite the recent hike.

Our domestic production was also good this year, he said, adding that market domination by big traders and importers results in hike of onion prices.

He said lack of monitoring by the government agencies is encouraging traders and retailers to fix price at their will.

Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) primary data showed that onion production was 1.9 million tonnes in the last financial year (FY'17) against a demand for 2.2 million tonnes.

The commerce ministry's data showed that import of onion was above 0.75 million tonnes during the period.

However, ginger prices increased by Tk 20-Tk 30 a kg in last one week as imported Chinese varieties were selling at Tk 140-Tk 160 and local/Indian varieties were traded at Tk 80-Tk 120 a kg.  

Editor : A.H.M Moazzem Hossain
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