Onion prices have gone up in Khulna market just after the India's imposition of 40 percent duty on its export which came into effect from Sunday (August 20). The prices of onion have increased by Tk 10-15 per kg in the local market just in a day. On Sunday, Indian onions were being sold at Tk 65-70 per kg, while local onions at Tk 90 per kg. But on Saturday, per kg of Indian and local variety onions were sold at Tk 55-60 and Tk 75 per kg respectively. Read: India imposes 40% duty on onion exports effective today Sujan and Kawsar, traders of Mylapota Sandhya Bazar in the town, said that there is no shortage of onion in the market. However, they are paying Tk 10-15 more for buying per kg of onion. As a result, onions have to be sold at a higher price, they added. On August 19, the Revenue Department of the Indian Finance Ministry imposed a 40 percent duty on onion export to check price hike. Read: Indian onions start arriving through land ports as import resumes Importers said earlier they paid no tax for importing onions from India. Due to the 40 percent duty, an extra Tk 15-19 per kg will have to be counted. An Indian gazette notification signed by Amreeta Titus, deputy secretary of the Revenue Department under the Finance Ministry, said the duty will remain effective till December 31 this year. Indian exporters said onion prices are soaring in the country and the government has imposed the duty to discourage exports. Read: Proper preservation of onions to end instability, crisis: Agriculture Minister Buyers said that the prices of onion have increased compared to the last few days. Onions may be stockpiled by unscrupulous traders on the pretext of import duty that may cause further rise in prices, they feared. Ibrahim Hossain, deputy director of the Khulna divisional office of the Directorate of Consumer Rights Protection, said that they are monitoring the market.
The Revenue Department of the Indian Finance Ministry has imposed a 40 percent duty on onion exports to Bangladesh effective today (August 20, 2023), causing a hike in the price of the item mainly used as spice in local markets. An Indian gazette notification signed by Amreeta Titus, deputy secretary of the Revenue Department under the Finance Ministry, said the duty will remain effective till December 31 this year. India imposed the duty for the first time. Importers of Hili Land Port said earlier they paid no tax for importing onions from India. Due to the 40 percent duty, an extra Tk 10 per kg will have to be counted. Read: Indian onions start reaching Satkhira, leading to prices easing down On the other hand, each kg of onion is being sold at Tk 50 since this morning. Per kg of onion was being sold at Tk 39-47 just a day back. They said Sunday is a weekly holiday in India and import of onion won’t be possible until the newly imposed duty is not paid, urging the Bangladesh government to look for alternative markets to import the item from. Read: Indian onions start arriving through land ports as import resumes Indian exporters said onion prices are soaring in the country and the government has imposed the duty to discourage exports. They suspected that the prices may be hiked next month as substantial amounts of onions rotted due to excessive heat. Read more: Govt to allow onion import from Monday: Agriculture Ministry
Prices of almost all spices have doubled in a year, and consumers are particularly feeling the pinch ahead of Eid-ul-Azha when consumption of spices is high. Despite sufficient stock and import of essential spices, traders at both wholesale and retail level hiked the prices of onion, ginger, garlic, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, cumin, turmeric, and coriander. SM Nazer Hossain, vice-president of the Consumers’ Association of Bangladesh (CAB), told UNB that prices of essential commodities have already gone up, and the hike in prices of spice will further burden the already hard-up low- and middle-income people. Though there is enough stock of spices to meet the demands during Eid, traders are indiscriminately hiking the prices to make more profit – due to lack of proper monitoring, he said. Spice prices soar in Faridpur ahead of Eid-ul-Azha According to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), on June 22, 2022, cumin was sold at a minimum price of Tk 380 and a maximum of Tk 450 per kg. The price of cumin has increased more than twice in one year. Before Eid-ul-Azha, other spices are also beyond the reach of low-income people. Prices of most spices, including locally grown onion, garlic, dried chillies, green chillies, turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon have increased. Among them, the prices of ginger and garlic have almost doubled. The UNB correspondent’s visits to Shyambazar, and Karwan Bazar – two major wholesale and retail markets in Dhaka – confirmed the latest prices today (June 24, 2023). There were enough stocks of ginger imported from Myanmar, Vietnam, and Indonesia in Shyambazar on Friday. The wholesale price of ginger is Tk 120 to Tk 250 per kg depending on the quality. In Karwan Bazar, the retail price was Tk 250 to Tk 350 per kg. TCB said that even a year ago, ginger was sold between Tk 60 to Tk 100 per kg at the retail level. Spice prices shoot up ahead of Eid despite sufficient stock Traders say that China is the biggest supplier of ginger in the country. But due to its high price, Chinese ginger is not available in the country right now. Stock of Indian ginger is also low in the market. Mainly because of this, the price of ginger has more than doubled within a year. The price of dried chilli has also increased. A year ago, dried chillies were sold at Tk 220 to Tk 250 per kg, but this year, it is being sold at Tk 300 to Tk 340 per kg. Indian dried chillies are being sold at a higher price of Tk 380 per kg. In retail markets, such as Karwan Bazar, the price of imported dried chillies has also gone up to Tk 480 per kg. Coriander is being sold at Tk 165 to Tk 220 per kg, cloves at Tk 1,500 to Tk 1,600 and cinnamon at Tk 410 to Tk 480 per kg in Karwan Bazar, Shyampur and Sutrapur Bazar. According to TCB, a year ago, coriander was sold at Tk 120 to Tk 150, cloves at Tk 1,050 to Tk 1,200 and cinnamon at Tk 400 to Tk 450 per kg. Traders say that due to the dollar crunch, importers are not able to import enough spices. The prices of some species are high in the global market as well. No shortage of spices in market ahead of Eid: Spice Traders Association Import costs have also increased. Apart from that, the production cost of spices in the country has also gone up due to the increase in fertiliser, fuel, and labour costs. Also, the cost of transportation is high. Mainly due to these reasons, the price of spices has gone up.
Onions from India have started arriving in Bangladesh through land ports on the border as the government announced resumption of onion import after over two months of restriction. The agriculture ministry took the decision to allow importing onions on Sunday (June 4, 2023) considering the unusual price hike. Two trucks loaded with 40 metric tonnes of Indian onions entered through Hili land port in Dinajpur at 5:45 pm today (June 6, 2023). Read more: Govt to allow onion import from Monday: Agriculture Ministry Shahidul Islam, an importer, said, “There has been a shortage of imported onions in the country since mid-March. As a result, the price of local onions skyrocketed in both retail and wholesale markets after Eid-ul-Fitr.” “In this situation, importers have been demanding that the government allow them to import onions from India, to keep the price stable. Keeping the traders and consumers in mind, the Ministry of Agriculture has given permission to import onions from India on Sunday,” he said. Although the imported onions are yet to reach the market, prices have already started to go down as the news broke. Read more: Proper preservation of onions to end instability, crisis: Agriculture Minister Moinul Haque, a retail trader at Hili Bazar, said onions were being sold at Tk 80 per kg this evening – Tk 5 less compared to this morning. “We may see a fall in onion prices in the coming days,” he said. Meanwhile, 57 onion-carrying trucks from India have entered the country through Sonamasjid land port in Chapainawabganj. Prabhat Kumar Singh, assistant commissioner of customs at Sonamasjid land port, said the trucks carrying 1,097 metric tonnes of onions have entered Bangladesh. Read more: Govt aiming to become self-sufficient in onions: Agriculture Minister “Trucks are allowed to enter the port only after receiving IP approved documents,” he said. The government stopped importing onions from India from March 16 this year to ensure fair prices for onions produced by local farmers.
Agriculture Minister Md Abdur Razzaque has said a decision on onion import will be taken within two to three days after monitoring the market situation. "I know that all middle- and limited-income people are suffering. The price of onion should not be Tk 80 per kg. At the policy level, we are putting emphasis on the interests of our local farmers,” the minister said while talking to reporters at his Secretariat office today (May 21, 2023). "We have discussed it at the highest level of policymaking. We are monitoring the market very closely. Insha'Allah, you will get a decision on whether we will import onions in 2-3 days," he said. Read more: Govt may allow onion import soon: Agriculture Secretary Last week, the Agriculture Secretary Wahida Akhter said the government is considering importing onions due to the hike in onion prices in the market. Due to government intervention, onion production in the country has increased by more than one million tonne in the last two years, according to the DAE (Department of Agricultural Extension). This year alone, more than 34 lakh tonnes of onion have been produced in the country. Meanwhile, the demand for onion in the country is 26 to 28 lakh tonnes per year. Read more: Govt to import 12,500 MT of sugar from US However, due to lack of proper storage system or adverse environment, 30-35% of locally produced.
Importers are suspecting that onion price in the country may go up during Ramadan, as the government of Bangladesh has decided to not issue new permits for importing Indian onions after March 15 through the Hili land port -- to ensure local farmers get a fair price. “Large consignments of onions are being imported now through Hili land port to keep prices stable during Ramadan. But the government decided to not issue new onion import permits from India, which may make the onion market unstable,” Senior Vice President of Hili Land Port Import-Export Group Shahidul Islam said while speaking at a press conference on Monday (March 14, 2023) night. Read More: Onion imports through Benapole resume after 2 months If onion imports stop after March 15, importers will suffer financially. Consumers also have to buy onions at higher prices during Ramadan, he added. Mostafizur Rahman, general secretary of the organization, said that it is necessary to continue importing onions throughout the month of Ramadan and keep the prices stable. Currently, imported onions are being sold at Tk 24 and domestic onions at Tk 26 per kg at retail level. Read More: Magura onion farmers in tears as prices plummet
Bangladeshi traders have started to import onions from India through Benapole Land Port after a restriction of two months. The import cost per kg of onion is Tk34. The cooking essential is being sold at the market at Tk36 per kg. Importers said the prices of onions will drop further as the import volume goes up. Read: Magura onion farmers in tears as prices plummet Bangladesh imported 117 metric tonnes of onions from India Thursday afternoon. Shamim Gazi, an importer of Benapole, said: "My company imported 117 metric tonnes of onions from India as the government had allowed us to do so." Benapole Port Deputy Director Abdul Jalil said now the port is open 24 hours for quick unloading of the imported onions.
Strange as it may seem, but a bumper harvest has left many onion farmers in Magura in tears. Forget profit, they are struggling to recover even their production cost this year. Falling prices of the kitchen staple across Bangladesh are forcing these poor farmers to go for distress sales in the absence of any warehousing option that helps prevent a price collapse in case of a bumper yield. An essential part of the diets of millions of Bangladeshis, rich and poor, onions add flavour and texture to every meal. Besides, the pungent bulb is a rich source of key daily nutrients. Also read: Kushtia onion farmers struggle with production cost amid falling price Every year, Bangladesh witnesses onion crises. However, this year, farmers in Magura are facing a problem of plenty -- basically more supplies and less demand.
Onion growers in Jashore are busy rearing their fields these days, hoping to make a killing with a record harvest this year. An essential part of the diets of millions of Bangladeshis, rich and poor, the kitchen staple adds flavour and texture to every meal. Besides, the pungent bulb is a rich source of key daily nutrients. Every year, Bangladesh witnesses onion crises. In October 2020, for instance, the country saw a record hike in onion prices after neighbouring India banned its export. However, this year, Jashore could come to the rescue of the country. Last year, the district produced some 20,440 metric tonnes of onion. And this year, the district authorities have set a higher target by planning to bring 1,910 hectares of land under onion cultivation. Also read; Importers fear losses as Indian onions flood Bangladesh markets "We are giving extra attention to our fields. We expect a bumper output this year, and in turn, a windfall profit," a farmer told UNB. "Winter is the best time to cultivate onion." In fact, the department of agriculture Extension (DAE) has also set a production target of 21,831 metric tonnes by bringing 1,910 hectares under onion cultivation in the eight upazilas of the district. According to officials, 330 hectares of land would be brought under onion cultivation in Marimpur upazila, 150 hectares in Sadar, 210 hectares in Sharsha and 540 hectares in Jikhorgachha upazila.
The government has withdrawn import duty on onion and reduced that on sugar by 10 per cent in a bid to stabilise the prices of the two essential items. The Internal Resources Division (IRD) under the Ministry of Finance issued two separate gazettes in this regard on Thursday evening. While the customs duty on onion import was withdrawn, the regulatory duty on sugar import was cut down to 20 per cent from 30 per cent. Read: Proposal for duty withdrawal on onion import to be considered: FnM The decision came as the prices of the daily essentials kept soaring in the local market.