The price of onions in the Khatunganj wholesale market in Chittagong has decreased by three to five taka per kg following news of a possible resumption of onion imports in the country. This decision comes after the import of onions was halted on March 15 to protect local farmers. With the stocks of imported onions nearly exhausted, the price of domestic onions began to rise earlier this month, reaching Tk 75 per kg in the wholesale market and Rs. 80 per kg at the retail level. However, as soon as the Ministry of Agriculture indicated the possibility of allowing onion imports to lower prices, the market started to see a slight decrease.
Currently, onions are being sold at 70 to 72 taka per kg in the wholesale market, reflecting a decrease of three to five rupees per kg in just a few days. This reduction in the wholesale market has also impacted retail prices, which now range from 80 to 85 taka per kg in Chittagong. The decision to allow imports aims to stabilize onion prices, considering that the cost of production for domestic onions is around Tk 28 to Tk 30 per kg. With an annual demand of 26 to 28 lakh tons, the country has produced over 34 lakh tons of onions, with a current stock of 18 lakh 30 thousand tons. The temporary halt on imports was implemented to support local farmers, as the open import policy in the previous fiscal year resulted in lower prices for desi onions, affecting their livelihoods.