Bangladeshi traders have started importing 200 tonnes of onions a day from Myanmar through borders in order to arrest the skyrocketing price of the key cooking ingredient in the domestic market.
The importers of the pungent vegetable shared the information at a meeting with Commerce Secretary Md Jafar Uddin at the secretariat in Dhaka yesterday.
The government gave go ahead to the import of the Burmese variety of onion after India increased the minimum export price and a section of unscrupulous traders raised the prices in the local market.
Each kg of onion was found selling at between Tk 60 and Tk 80 yesterday at various kitchen markets in Dhaka.
Bangladeshi businesses are also importing onion from other countries, including Turkey, the commerce secretary said in a statement.
State-owned Trading Corporation of Bangladesh has started open market sales but the quantity is too small to cool down the domestic prices.
The secretary criticised the traders who are trying to make quick bucks by creating an artificial crisis. He urged the businessmen to do business maintaining integrity.
The supply of onion will also receive a boost soon once importers start releasing the goods-laden trucks through various land ports along with India, he said.
On September 13, India slapped $850 (Tk 71,821) as minimum export price for per tonne of onion.
The move made onion market highly volatile in Bangladesh as the country meets a portion of its annual demand for the kitchen staple through imports for inadequate domestic production.
The onion price went up to the range of Tk 60-75 a kg from Tk 45-55 two weeks ago.