Monday, September 21, 2020 | ePaper

Onion prices jumped 50pc following India's abrupt ban on export

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LIKE the previous year, India has abruptly banned onion export to Bangladesh again without any prior information resulting in a big shock for the country's consumers. Just in one day the prices of onion jumped by more than 50 per cent on Tuesday, following the ban of the key cooking ingredient by the next door neighbour.
 According to a news report in this newspaper, India has prohibited exports of all variety of onions with immediate effect on Monday showing reasons behind the price hiking in their local markets for the recent flood. In addition, India's exporters are also demanding increased price of this kitchen product.
As reported, the India's ban on exporting onion to Bangladesh came at a time when the latter is supplying around 1500 tonnes of hilsha fish to the neighbouring country as a gesture of goodwill marking the occasion of Durga Puja. And the first consignment of the fish already reached India on Monday.
An Indian exporter from Benapole land port said, "If Bangladeshi importers re-arrange their LC by 750 dollar instead of the current 250 dollar, then they have no objection to start exporting the item again. They cannot allow Bangladesh with previous prices. No truck loaded with onions has been allowed to enter Bangladesh by any land ports.   
Rarely has a Prime Minister of a visiting country before raised the issue of a vegetable item that affects the common man. Last year, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina raised the matter in good humour when she, in a friendly complaining tone, urged the Indian government to inform Bangladesh before slapping any ban on exports of essential items.  
 The price of onion is likely to remain volatile in markets across Bangladesh. Even the prices jumped to Tk 200 to 300 per kilogram last year. However, the Minister for Commerce Tipu Munshi said that the situation of onion market would not be worse like the previous year. That year, the country had to import the kitchen item from Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, China and Myanmar.
The government needs to act quickly to prevent another price crash this year. If its response delays, it will create a volatile situation across the country. And the prices of the essential kitchen item will go beyond the purchasing capacity of the people.

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