The sudden decision to raise onion export price to $852 per tonne by the Indian Agricultural Product Regulatory Authority on Friday has badly affected the Bangladeshi market.
Earlier, each tonne of onion was imported at $300 to $410.
As a result of the decision by the Indian authorities, the onion price in the retail markets of Bangladesh has raised by Tk15 per kg within three days. Till September 12, onion was sold at Tk40 to Tk45 per kg.
At present, the cost of imported onion is Tk52 to Tk53 per kg, which is Tk54 to Tk55 in the wholesale market and Tk60 to Tk65 at the retail market.
Indian exporters said that the export price has been raised because there is a scarcity of onion in the local markets of India due to flooding. On the other hand, Bangladeshi businessmen complained that India does this every season, they arbitrarily raise prices of different products showing a shortage in supply.
An Indian exporter, Bappa Mozumder, at Petrapole port said onion price has increased due to the recent flood. To keep the onion price stable in the local market, the Indian authorities have raised the export price.
He also said that authorities from Delhi ordered to amend previous LCs with the raised price.
"Though we had previously issued LCs now we have to pay extra money for importing onion," said Tuhin Shaha, an importer from Jashore.
Nazrul Islam, manager of Hamid Enterprise in Khulna said I imported 122 tonnes of onion on September 15 with a price of $855 per tonne. As this is our business, we have nothing to do but to import at a high price.
Owner of C and F agent of Benapole Royal Enterprise Rafiqul Islam Royal said the Indian government has taken a strategy to stop exporting onion to Bangladesh. That is why they have raised the price. If it goes on, the onion price will keep increasing. However, if the Indian government changes its decision, our market will be stable again.
Deputy Director (Traffic) of Benapole Land Port Mamun Kabir Tarafder said, from September 1 to 15 a total of 119 tonnes of onions have been imported from India. After the export price increased, import dropped slightly.
Uttam Chakma, deputy commissioner at Benapole Customs House said that the amount of onion import from India through Benapole Land Port is very low. To keep the market stable and to make the import process speedy the custom house remains open for 24 hours.