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Corporate - December 14, 2023

Onion market under strict surveillance

Staff Correspondent: The government has taken the initiative of strict monitoring to control the abnormal price increase of onion. District administrators have been given the responsibility of market maintenance in the district. Also, the officers of Consumer Rights Protection Department will also be in the field. They will ensure sale at a reasonable price. The government has also taken the initiative to speedily bring 52 thousand metric tons of onions to the country under open letter of credit (LC) for import from India before the ban on export.
Those concerned are hoping that soon these onions will gain market share and the price will decrease. Director General (DG) of National Consumer Rights Protection Directorate AHM Safikuzzaman said that the onion market is expected to stabilize within the next week. Cured onions have already started coming in the market. Onion hoarders will be brought under the law and action will be taken. Some of the hoarders behind the increase in onion prices have already been identified and the process is underway to identify those who are still unidentified. He said, How did the onion arranged in Khatunganj and Shyambazar disappear after our raid? Attempts are being made to find out who has hidden onions and bring them to justice through intelligence agencies. Already Tk 11 lakh fine has been imposed in 54 districts of the country. A few days ago, 600,000 eggs were found stored in the freezer. While it is possible to control the volatility in the meat and potato markets, the government is working to stabilize the onion market. Our campaign to protect consumer rights will continue.
Consumer rights DG said, quick initiative is being taken to bring 55 thousand tons of onions to the country after opening the loan in India. Besides, TCB has 3500 tons of onions. On the other hand, domestic onions have also started coming into the market. I think this time too the dishonest onion traders may rot the onions in the godown or secretly throw them in the water. So, I hope that those who have hidden onions in different places will supply onions to the market quickly if they want to avoid losses.
Directing DCs in market monitoring: Ministry of Commerce has sent a letter to Bangladesh Embassy in India to take necessary measures to bring onions quickly. Apart from this, all the District Commissioners have been instructed to carry out strict monitoring to ensure the sale of onion at a reasonable price in the country. Tapan Kanti Ghosh, senior secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, said that 52 thousand metric tons of onion LC was opened for import from India before the export ban was imposed. An initiative has been taken to bring this onion to the country quickly.
He said, we have taken various initiatives to control onion prices. How to increase the import of onion from alternative countries is being tried. At the same time, onion sales will continue among low-income people through TCB. The commerce secretary said that the district commissioners have been instructed to ensure the sale of onion at a reasonable price throughout the country. Mentioning that it is not right to do something that causes suffering to the people of the country, the senior secretary of the government urged the businessmen to be more responsible and said that it is not right to think that only the government will fix everything. Businessmen should understand that business is for the people of the country. He said that the government of India stopped the export of onion and the price of the product suddenly increased within a day in the country, this is not the responsible behavior of businessmen.
Last Thursday, after India imposed a ban on onion exports, the price of onions increased in the country’s market. However, before the imposition of this ban, LC was opened to import 52 thousand metric tons of onion from there to Bangladesh. Now the government has started the process of bringing these onions to the country quickly.
TCB onions arrived: Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) imported 90 metric tons of onions from India through Benapole port after four days. Many onions were wasted due to not being released quickly. Onion can be seen being unloaded from shed No. 31 of Benapole port on Monday afternoon. Meanwhile, a C&F agent named Confidence Enterprises has submitted the necessary documents to the Customs to release the onions from the TCB port.
Confidence Enterprise Manager Murtaza Sharif said that 90 metric tons of onions were imported in three Indian trucks on December 7. At that time, it was not possible to take the onion khals due to lack of necessary documents. Today, due to the receipt of necessary documents, the shipment of onions has been released from the port. Rezaul Karim, director of Benapole port, said that on December 7, 90 metric tons of TCB onions imported from India were lying in the port. TCB cleared the onion shipment.
Buyers reduced purchases: Due to the sudden increase in the price of onions, ordinary buyers also reduced their purchases. However, as new desi onions have started appearing in the market, the prices have started to come down again. A visit to the wholesale and retail onion market of Karwan Bazar in the capital yesterday showed that imported Indian onions are currently being sold at the rate of Tk 800 palla (five kg) or Tk 160 per kg. A day ago, which was sold at the rate of Tk 900 palla or Tk 180 per kg. It was also sold two days ago at the rate of Tk 500-550 palla or Tk 100-110 per kg. Apart from this, currently Chinese onion ranges from Tk 550-600 (Tk 110-120 per kg), Egyptian onion at Tk 620 (Tk 124 per kg), Faridpur new onion at Tk 600 (Tk 120 per kg), Faridpur old onion at Tk 950 (Tk 190 per kg), Pabna Onion is selling at Tk 950 (Tk 190 per kg), Rajshahi onion at Tk 950 (Tk 190 per kg).
In the same market a day ago, Faridpur old onion was sold at Tk 196 per kg and new onion at Tk 140 per kg. Pabna onion was sold at Tk 200. And onions imported from China were sold at Tk 130. Onion price is higher in retail market as compared to wholesale market. At present, Indian onion is sold at Tk 170 per kg, and domestic Pabna onion at Tk 220 and Faridpur new onion at Tk 110-120.
The price of onion decreased slightly compared to yesterday, but the buyers did not increase. On this day, from 11 am to 12 noon, it was observed in the four shops of the wholesale onion market of Karwan Bazar, not a single customer came to those shops in this one hour. The same is true across the market. The entire onion market is empty except for a handful of buyers. The sellers said that due to the increase in the price of onion, the buyers are coming less.
Private employees who came to buy onions in the caravan market. Sheikh Tuhin said, there is no end to our suffering. The price of everything is high in the market. Now the price of onion has jumped again. So, I came with the desire to buy five kg of onion but I bought only two kg. Blaming traders for the increase in onion prices, he said that there is no shortage of Indian onions in the market even though India has stopped exporting. These are all previous onions. Still prices are rising. Still, if the price increases by Tk 10, traders have increased it by Tk 20. Another buyer named Faizul Haque said that new onions will come soon so now I have bought only two kg. You have to eat. But all our customers should stop buying onions for some days. Then the traders will be forced to reduce the price.
Meanwhile, many sellers have stopped selling onions due to lack of buyers. One such Salam said, there are no buyers in the market. So, you have to fall into losses. On top of that, the consumer department is forcing them to sell onions bought at Tk 200 for Tk 140. So, I am stopping the sale of onions.
At least five other vendors like Salam were seen stopping onion sales. A seller named Abdul Mannan said that a week ago, where I used to sell 2-3 sacks (80 kg) of onions every day between 12 noon, today I sold only one sack. People are not coming to buy onion because the price is high. Buyers think that new onions will come, then they will buy. Another seller named Majid Uddin said, I am selling onion bought for Tk 195 for Tk 190. Still no buyers. I could not sell even 10 kg of onions in the morning.

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