Increased supply of local onions and India's decision to lift the ban on onion export have led to a decline in the prices of the cooking staple in Bangladesh.
Consumers can now buy the local variety of onion at Tk90-100 per kilogram, which was Tk120 even a week ago.
The Indian government imposed a ban on onion exports on September 29 last year, after which onion prices had started skyrocketing in Bangladesh.
Also, a supply crisis shot the onion price up to Rs100 per kg in India. The prices went as high as an unprecedented Tk260 per kg in Bangladesh.
Earlier, on September 13, India doubled the export price to $850 per tonne.
Now, after a surplus production, the price of onion in India is Rs30-40. The country on Thursday decided to lift the ban on onion export.
The decision was understood to have been taken at a meeting of a group of ministers headed by Indian Home Minister Amit Shah.
Indian Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, in a tweet, said the expected monthly harvest in March was over 40 lakh metric tonnes.
Traders in Bangladesh believe that onion prices will fall sharply once the cooking ingredient starts arriving from India.
Local onions were being sold for Tk90-100 per kg in different markets of Dhaka on Thursday. However, some retailers were selling it for Tk110, whereas some wholesalers for Tk85-90.
Also, the retailers sold onions imported from Turkey and Egypt for Tk80-90, which was Tk80-100 even a few days ago. Wholesalers were selling these onions for Tk65-85.
Ashraful, a wholesaler at Karwan Bazar, told The Business Standard, "Alongside the murikata variety, hali onions from Pabna have started to hit the Dhaka kitchen markets. So the supply has increased, and the price has slightly dropped."
Importers and wholesalers said the Indian government decided to lift the ban on onion exports; still, the country's Directorate General of Foreign Trade did not issue any notification.
Before the issuance of the notification, the price of Indian onion cannot be guessed, they said.
However, Harun Ur Rashid, president of Importer and Export Group of Hili Land Port told The Business Standard, "India has verbally decided to export onion. There is no chance of import until a notification is issued. We will start importing if the notification is issued."
Meantime, Shankar Chandra Ghosh, a Shyambazar-based trader, and importer said, "As far as we know, the Indian government will do a study before exporting onion to find the level of their production and demand. After that, they will decide the export quantity and price for onion."
"We hope to import onion by mid-March."
Department of Agricultural Extension officials said up to now the farmers supplied murikata onions to the market.
The price of onion is expected to go down further when seasonal hali onion will become available by mid-March.