Prices of all types of onions have gone up Tk5-Tk10 over the last five days in Khatunganj, the largest wholesale consumer goods market in Chattogram.
Traders say the supply of onions disrupted by the bad weather brought on by Cyclone Jawad, and the low stocks of onions at season end have together negatively affected and raised the market price of onions.
"Last week, imports of onion across the Teknaf land port decreased due to Cyclone Jawad and imports from other countries have reduced as well due to adverse weather," said Mohammad Idris, general secretary of Hamid Ullah Mia Market Businessmen's Welfare Association in Khatunganj.
He said the price of onions will be higher till new batches of onions come to market.
A quick look around Khatunganj market revealed that on Friday, South Indian onions were going for Tk38-Tk40 per kilogram, while last week it was Tk33-Tk34. Indian Nasik onion was Tk38-Tk40 per kilogram, while last week it was Tk32-Tk33 per kilogram. Onions from Myanmar were being sold for Tk40-Tk41 per kilogram, rising from Tk30-Tk32 per kilogram.
Kumar Pauddar, a Khatunganj trader, said a month ago there was a small shipment of onions from Pakistan, Turkey, and Egypt which is dominating the market at the moment.
Right now, in Khatunganj, Pakistani onions are selling for Tk35 – Tk38 per kilogram, Turkish onions are Tk34 – Tk35 per kilogram, onions from Egypt are Tk35 – Tk38 per kilogram, and Chinese onions are going for Tk33 – Tk35 per kilogram. Even last week, the per kilogram price range of onions was Tk28 – Tk30.
Nasir Uddin, deputy director of the Plant Quarantine Station of Chattogram Port said, from July to 6 December this year, some 9200 tonnes of onions were imported through Chattogram port but most of the imports were for Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).
"Many importers have gotten import permits but have put off importing at the moment," Nasir added.
Prices soaring in Dhaka too
Unlike Chattogram, even though homegrown local onions are available in Dhaka, prices are still soaring here in the capital as well.
In different kitchen markets around the capital, local onions are Tk70 per kilogram. At the beginning of last week, the price was around Tk60 per kilogram.
Imported onions are being sold for Tk50 per kilogram in the capital's market.
Traders said the supply of onions is far less than demand, and the current higher prices will not go down just yet.