Onion prices have gone up in the kitchen markets in the port city after wholesalers jacked up prices in Khatunganj allegedly for a supply shortage.
Consumers had enjoyed lower prices of the item for the last couple of months as the market had remained apparently stable but the wholesale market has become a bit unstable recently.
Prices of different categories of onion marked a sharp rise by Tk 6 to Tk 8 a kilogramme (kg) in the wholesale markets earlier last week, reaching Tk 24 to Tk 26 a kg against Tk 16 to Tk 18 the previous week.
Subsequently, the retail markets saw an immediate price hike.
Nasrin Akhter, a homemaker, was found bargaining with a retailer at the Karnaphuli CDA Market on Thursday afternoon.
“I bought 2 kilos of onion at Tk 22 per kilo five days ago and now the shop owner is charging Tk 30 a kilo. How come the price rises so much so quickly?” she said.
Nazmul Haque, the retailer, said they had to buy the item at a higher price from wholesalers.
He demanded monitoring of the price at the wholesale hub.
Onion prices had witnessed a gradual downward trend over the last few months on the back of huge imports from India.
Around 7.82 lakh tonnes of onion were imported till March 9 of the current fiscal year, Bangladesh Tariff Commission data showed.
Mohammad Idris, general secretary of Khatunganj Arat Owners Association, said traders incurred losses while selling onion at cheaper prices as there was plenty of supply compared to demand.
Importers and wholesalers gradually lost interest in importing the commodity and at one stage many stopped importing the item, creating a sudden shortage in supply that has caused the recent price hike, said Mohammad Faruq, director of wholesale firm Ira Traders at Hamidullah Mia Market in Khatunganj.