Saturday, October 21, 2017

Consignment of onion to arrive from Egypt: Commerce Minister

  • Senior Correspondent
    Published: 2017-08-10 16:49:09 BdST

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed (File Photo)

Bangladesh is importing onion from Egypt to tame soaring prices in the local market and make up for the loss incurred in flash floods.

The consignment is on the way and will be unloaded within 24 hours after reaching the port, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed has said citing assurance from the Chittagong port chairman. 

Retailers are selling onion at Tk 50 a kg, compared to Tk 25 and Tk 28 a week ago.

Traders have blamed the price hike on flash floods. The upcoming Eid-Ul-Azha and a rise in prices in India also stoked onion prices in Bangladesh, according to traders.

Annual demand for onion stands at 2.2 million tonnes in Bangladesh. The country faces a shortage of 400,000 tonnes of onion a year, according to the minister.

“The deficit was usually met by imports from India but India is also facing a deficit this year due to floods,” he said after a meeting with traders at his ministry on Thursday.

Haji Md Mazed, an importer, claimed that flash floods damaged 50 percent of the national stock of onion. 
Onion imports from India cost Tk 48-50 a kg while the purchase from Egypt costs only Tk 36, he said. 
However, Bangladeshi traders fear they may face losses if India lowers onion prices now, the importer said citing the 2015 incident.