Onion prices in Bangladesh increased by more than 50 per cent, following a ban on exports by largest supplier India, after its crop was damaged and harvesting delayed by excessive rain.
The surprising move by India which took immediate effect on Monday, could help cut prices in India, but boost prices in Asian nations such as Malaysia, Nepal and Sri Lanka, apart from Bangladesh, since they depend on Indian shipments. India is the biggest supplier of onions to neighboring Bangladesh, which buys a yearly average of more than 350,000 tonnes. Onion prices in Bangladesh had increased to a record 250 taka in 2019 after a similar Indian ban forced the government to fly in onions.
“What will we eat now?” asked a Dhaka worker, who was laid off from his job in March after the coronavirus outbreak. Retail prices of the root vegetable, a staple of subcontinental cuisine, escalated in Dhaka to 90 taka to 100 taka per kg, from 60 taka on Monday and 30 taka at the beginning of the month.
In India, prices have tripled in a month to ?30 a kg as the summer-sown onion crop in the southern States of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh was damaged by excessive rainfall. India’s key onion-producing States have received as much as 41 per cent more rainfall than normal since the monsoon season began on June 1.