Onion prices shoot up in Bangladesh after India announces export ban

WION Web Team New Delhi Sep 17, 2020, 05.02 PM(IST)

Bangladesh's onion crisis Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

India had decided to ban the export of onions to Bangladesh after the crop was damaged and harvesting was delayed due to excessive rain.

A day after India stopped onion export to Bangladesh, the prices in the country shot up over 50 per cent despite government assurances of adequate supply being currently available.

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Onion which is part of staple diet in the Indian subcontinent witnessed a surge in prices in Bangladesh as it shot up to 30-50 taka per kg which is nearly three times the price of the root vegetable. In Bangladesh's retail market it shot up to 120 taka per kg which was normally selling at 80-85 taka.

India had decided to ban the export of onions to Bangladesh after the crop was damaged and harvesting was delayed due to excessive rain.

The prices of imported onion in Bangladesh was 50-55 taka per kg but it began selling at 90 taka per kg after India decided to pull out.

According to the country's department of agriculture, the total yearly demand for onion in Bangladesh is 25 lakh tonnes and the country's production was 25.57 lakh tonnes last year. However, large quantity of onion gets spoilt since it is a perishable item.

In order to make up for the deficit, Bangladesh turns to India. Bangladesh's state minister for foreign affairs M Shahriar Alam said that Dhaka has requested New Delhi to withdraw the ban imposed on onion export and expects a "positive response" soon.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh has turned to other countries to address the shortfall with consignments reportedly from Turkey and Egypt set to reach Chittagong port early next month even as the government acknowledged that it could face a "little problem next month", however it added that alternate sources of onion and pressure on unscrupulous traders would help to ease the burden on the onion crisis facing the country.

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