Govt expects onion prices to drop within 24 hours

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2019-09-17 20:23:42 BdST

The government expects the prices of onions to drop within the next 24 hours.

Prices of the cooking ingredient soared in the market after India moved to curb exports of the commodity.

But Bangladesh Tariff Commission member Abu Raihan Al Biruni expressed optimism over the situation after a meeting with different stakeholders at the commerce ministry on Tuesday.

"The prices will fall within 24 hours. We're certain that the prices will decrease after today's meeting. We want positive cooperation from you (the media)."

Commerce Secretary Md Jafar Uddin was similarly hopefuly about the matter.

But Raihan did not shed light on the government's measures to bring down prices within such a short space of time.

After India imposed an $850 per tonne minimum export price on onion on Sept 13, prices of the commodity doubled in Dhaka afterwards, prompting the government to intervene.

The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh or TCB began selling onions at five points in the capital in an effort to offset the spiralling prices.

The commerce secretary sat down with different government officials and business representatives to explore ways to tackle the price hike on Tuesday.

Outlining the reasons for the drop in prices, Raihan said, "According to the tarrif commission's analysis, the annual demand for onions is 2.4 million metric tonnes. The country produces 2.37 million metric tonnes, 30 percent of which rot away. As a result, we have to import about 1 to 1.1 million metric tonnes of onion."

He continued: "Until Sept 16, LCs for 1.29 metric tonnes of onions were cleared while the country produced 1.6 million metric tonnes. As such, we analysed the market and found that there are 2.8 million metric tonnes of the commodity."