Price hike of the local onions is having a domino effect on the imported onions
The onion prices have been dancing to the beat of cold spells in Dhaka city, for the past four months.
The high price of the vegetable hit the wholesale and retail markets of the capital in the past two days.
The increased price of local onions ranged between Tk145 to Tk150, and the cost per kilogram increased up to Tk40.
In the wholesale market, the prices of local onion varieties were Tk135-140 per kg, which was Tk90-100 only two days ago.
The price hike of the local onions is having a domino effect on the imported onions.
The imported onions, which were sold at Tk70-90, crossed Tk100 on Friday. Onions imported from Pakistan were sold at Tk120, while the Egyptian varieties at Tk110.
Abdur Razzak, a retailer in Rampura market, said, "I sold local onions at Tk110 two days back. But I had to sell it at Tk150 today as I bought it at Tk140 from the wholesalers."
Market analysis of the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh showed that the price of local varieties increased by 35 percent and imported onions by 40 percent, compared to last month.
Onion retailers, wholesalers, and agricultural officials of different districts said the Murikata onions that were sold in Dhaka are still available, but the supply is lower.
The farmers started reaping Murikata onions before maturity to get higher price. It was also used to make the onion supply normal before the harvesting of seasonal onions like Hali or Taherpuri. But due to advance reaping, there is a shortage of onions.
However, some of the businessmen told The Business Standard that despite having imported onions, the market becomes unbalanced as there has been a shortage for long.
A Karwan Bazar onion wholesaler, Ashraful Islam told The Business Standard, "We sell onions after transporting them from Pabna. That supply reduced in the last two days."
Pabna is one of the major onion producing districts of the country.
Agriculturist Md Abdul Latif, officer of Ishwardi Agriculture Extension Department in Pabna, said, "There is no overall onion shortage. The farming of the main category of onion has exceeded the target, but the stock of Murikata is almost finished."
The supply of seasonal onion will begin from the middle of March, he said.
Agricultural officials of Faridpur district said that Murikata onion was cultivated on 4,700 hectares of land. Among the produce, the onions from 3,500 hectares were reaped.
Deputy Director of Faridpur Agricultural Extension Department Kartik Chandra Chakrabarti said, "The harvesting of Murikata began early as the local variety were sold at a higher price. But the reaping of Hali onion will start from the end of March, and the supply will get better during Ramadan."
"We wanted to grow onions on 37,000 hectares of land in our district, and we surpassed the target. The farmers are interested in onion cultivation because of the higher price," said the agriculturtal official.