by Our Correspondent in Dhaka,
The onion prices in major Bangladeshi markets shot up Tuesday hours after India decided to ban the export of the much required spice for cooking after crops were damaged there due to heavy rains.
On Tuesday, the prices rose between Taka 10 to Taka 15 per kilogram in the wholesale markets, while retailers in many places have put the price tag at upto Taka 80. Earlier, the price was in retail shops was upto Taka 30 per kg.
Local media reported of panic buying as soon as the news of the Indian ban was carried by television and online portals.
The domestic demand here is widespread as it is used for cooking almost all the food items and around 10 lack tons are imported annually, mainly from India.
India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) issued a notification on Monday saying, “Exports of all variety of onions is prohibited with immediate effect.”
newsnextbd.com in its editorial yesterday had alerted the concerned authorities about a possible ban by India as due to a similar action last year suddenly sent onion prices in Bangladesh to more than Taka 300 per kilograms.
The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh has started to its Open Market Sell (OMS) of onion from 13 September and must gear up to ensure that none suffers like that of last year.
Both wholesale and retail prices have shot up already in India due to heavy rains that damaged the ready crop, including the largest wholesale onion market in Nashik. All the major onion producing belt from the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka to Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, have reported crop damage.
Media reports, quoting local traders, said the prices are further expected to skyrocket to Rupees 100 per kilogram by October in the neighbouring country.
Market observers said the Commerce Ministry and others concerned should take urgent steps to avoid a repeat of last year’s bad experience.