Onion prices soar ahead of Ramadan

92

Traders attributed the price hike to the rising demand of the key cooking ingredient ahead of Ramadan as fasters consume more onion in the holy month than their regular intake

Onion prices soared by as high as Tk35 a kg in the capital’s kitchen markets on surging demand ahead of Ramadan.

Traders attributed the price hike to the rising demand of the key cooking ingredient ahead of Ramadan as fasters consume more onion in the holy month than their regular intake.

The month of Ramadan is likely to begin on April 25.

“The demand for essential food items typically increases before every year Ramadan and causes price hike. Onion price also increased in the same way,” Hridoy Ahmed, a wholesaler in the capital’s Karwanbazar, told Dhaka Tribune.

Prices of others food commodities would also increase gradually before and during the month of Ramadan, he mentioned.

The trader also said the supply of onion in the markets slowed down now due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Visiting several retail markets in the capital including those of Rampura and Malibagh on Wednesday, local onion was found selling at Tk65-75 per kilogram, up by Tk25-35.

It sold at Tk35-40 a kg last week.

At Karwanbazar, the wholesale prices jumped to Tk55-60 a kg on Wednesday from Tk30-34 last week.

Kamal Uddin, a retailer at Malibag, however, said that there was adequate supply of onion in the wholesale market, but traders still increased the prices of onion. 

The price was increasing almost every day, he added.

The retailer claimed that a group of unscrupulous wholesalers played roles in creating an artificial crisis of onion in the markets, causing the price hike abnormally.

Sufia Begum, a customer at Mohammadpur kitchen market, said the lack of any monitoring from the government caused the prices of onion to jump. 

Potato prices increase as well

Meanwhile, prices of potato also increased in the capital’s kitchen markets. 

Retailers were selling the item at Tk30-35 a kg on Wednesday, which was Tk20 a week ago. 

In wholesale markets, the price also increased by at least Tk6 per kg, from Tk14 per kg last week to Tk20 per kg yesterday.

Consumers expressed their frustrations over the price hike amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Saidul Islam at Rampura Bazar said traders in the country were greedy. 

“They (traders) increased prices of all essential items as the government relaxes its market monitoring during the corona-related abnormal situation. Now I can see that the government has no control over kitchen markets,” he added.

In September last year, India imposed a ban on onion exports, which created a supply shortage in local market and prompted traders to increase the price to a record level of Tk280 per kg.

The prices came down in recent months after India withdrew the export ban, and the country’s local onion varieties hit the markets.