Both the prices of local and imported onions fell by Tk5 per kilogramme in retail Wednesday.
In Dhaka, locally grown onions were Tk80-85 per kilogramme while the imported ones were Tk60-70, depending on quality. Prices of the cooking staple were Tk80-90 and Tk65-70, respectively, on Tuesday.
"I sold local onions at Tk85 per kilogramme even two to three days ago. Now I am selling them at Tk80," said Mominul Islam, a grocer on Dhaka's Dilu Road.
Mominul was selling imported onions at Tk65 per kilogramme Wednesday.
Like him, grocers in different areas of the capital were selling the cooking essential at Tk80-85. A few of them still asked for Tk90 per kilogramme of local onions.
Grocers said they could sell onions at slightly lower prices as the wholesale prices reduced a bit. On Wednesday, local onions were Tk75 per kilogramme while imported ones were Tk50-55 at Dhaka's Shyambazar – one of the largest wholesale markets in the capital.
At Karwanbazar, the same onions were being sold at a price Tk5-10 higher per kilogramme. Karwanbazar wholesaler Md Shafikul said they mostly bring in onions from Pabna where the rates are still a little high.
"But onions come to Shyambazar from Faridpur where the rates are comparatively low and the transportation costs are slightly lower than in Pabna," he added.
On September 14, neighbouring India slapped a ban on onion exports to curb the rising price of the cooking ingredient on its market.
Onion prices in Bangladesh had been rising for more than two weeks prior to the ban, and India's export restrictions further fuelled the rising prices.
The price of the cooking staple shot up to Tk120 per kilogramme following India's export ban. Subsequently, the government initiated numerous measures – including a 5% import duty waiver and allowing onion imports on credit for 90 days – to reign in the soaring market.
In the meantime, importers also started exploring the alternatives to India. On Tuesday, news broke out that around six lakh tonnes of onions should arrive by sea in the next two months from at least seven countries.