Prices of local and imported onions increased by Tk5 and Tk10 per kilogram respectively on Friday, a day after the government recommended imposing 5 percent customs duty on imported onions.
In different kitchen markets of Dhaka, local onions were priced at Tk48-50 per kg, up from Tk45 per kg a couple of days ago. Similarly, imported onion prices increased from Tk30-35 to Tk40-45.
Sources at retail and wholesale markets in the city said there was no crisis of local onions, but supply of imported onions was low. Many grocery shops did not even have any imported onions.
Anowar Hossain, a shop owner at the Rampura kitchen market, told The Business Standard, "Imported onion prices increased because of low supply. Along with it, price of local onions increased as well."
Ashraful Haque, an onion wholesaler at Karwan Bazar, said onion prices increased a little on Friday after the government proposed imposing duty on imported onions, and it may increase a little more in the coming days.
According to the market analysis of the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), before this latest price hike, imported onion prices reached Tk45 per kg a month ago. At that time, India had halted exporting onions due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Meanwhile, prices of garlic and ginger have not increased. Recently, ginger prices soared as people were consuming it more in hopes of preventing the novel coronavirus infection when the pandemic started.
At one point, ginger prices reached Tk350 per kg, but under the monitoring of the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection, prices fell to Tk150-180 per kg, which is prevailing now.
However, prices of many vegetables have increased significantly. Some vegetables – which were sold at Tk40 one month ago – were sold at Tk60-65 per kg on Friday.
At the retail markets, chichinga (snake gourds) sold for Tk60 per kg, barbati (asparagus beans) at Tk70-80 per kg, papaya at Tk40-45 per kg, eggplant at Tk50-60 per kg, okra at Tk50-55 per kg, and potato at Tk30 per kg.
Medium-sized gourds sold for Tk50-60 per piece.
Arefin, a shopper at a kitchen market in the Badda area, said, "Prices of most of the vegetables except eggplants were below Tk40 per kg during the month of Ramadan. But now, prices of all the vegetables have crossed Tk60."
Some sellers said the transportation services halted during Ramadan and the general holidays, so the farmers sold their goods at nominal prices. A huge amount of vegetables perished at that time too.
Now, transportation has resumed but the supply of vegetables is low. Besides, the transportation cost has increased, so the prices of vegetables have also been hiked.
Although the price of broiler chicken came down a week ago, it has increased by Tk10 to reach Tk140-150 per kg. A dozen chicken eggs cost Tk100-105, which had dropped to Tk80 one month ago.