Prices of onion at Khatunganj, one of the biggest wholesale essentials markets, saw a downward trend in the last three days as supply increased.
The supply began to rise after a good quantity of the essential cooking ingredient had been imported through Chattogram port over the last one week.
Around 3,000 tonnes of onions in 104 containers have reached the port. Some 2,000 tonnes have been imported by two large commodity importers -- BSM Group and Meghna Group -- which brought onions for the first time.
Onion prices saw a hike at the wholesale hub of Khatunganj on November 21 and sustained an upward trend until November 25 due to supply shortage, traders said.
Wholesale prices of good quality onions from Myanmar rose to Tk 190 a kg on Monday and dropped by Tk 30 to Tk 40 in the last three days. It was sold at Tk 150 to Tk 160 a kg yesterday.
Prices of comparatively low-quality onions of Myanmar came down to Tk 130 a kg yesterday against Tk 150 a kg three days ago.
Prices of both Egyptian and Chinese onions also saw a decreasing trend at Hamidullah Mia Market, a wholesale hub for onion in Khatunganj.
Yesterday, wholesalers were seen selling Egyptian onions for Tk 140 a kg, which was Tk 170 a kg on Monday. Prices of Chinese onions came down to Tk 90-100 a kg yesterday. They were between Tk 120 and Tk 130 a few days ago.
Some 39 containers of onions from China and Egypt imported by Khatunganj-based BSM Group arrived on three vessels, according to data available at the port.
MCC Taipei, which carried 20 containers with around 580 tonnes of onions, berthed at a port jetty on Monday and started delivering onions on Wednesday.
One of the two other vessels carrying 19 containers loaded with around 500 tonnes of onions berthed yesterday.
Another vessel OEL Straits carrying 30 containers loaded with about 850 tonnes of onions imported by Meghna Group arrived at the outer anchorage on Tuesday.
Besides the 69 containers, 35 more containers, carrying around 980 tonnes of onion, were imported by some traders on separate vessels. These would get berths within a few days, said Omar Faruk, secretary of Chattogram Port Authority.
BSM Group Chairman Abul Bashar Chowdhury said for the first time, they were importing onions following a request of the government and that they imported around 1,100 tonnes in the first phase from China and Egypt.
The onion market will be stable if small or large importers start importing onions, he said.
He added that around 1,000 tonnes more of his imported onion consignments were on the way and would reach the port by next week.
Mohamad Idris, general secretary of Hamidullah Mia Market Traders Association, said prices of all varieties of onion gradually dropped in the last three days following news of import of good quantity through Chattogram port.
Onion import from Myanmar through Teknaf land port was steady in the last one week. Twenty to 25 truck-loads were arriving in Khatunganj every day, he said.
According to data from Teknaf customs, about 6,327.52 tonnes of onions were delivered from the port in the last seven days until Wednesday.
However, the latest price drop in the wholesale market was yet to impact retail.
While visiting two kitchen markets in the port city yesterday, retailers were seen selling Myanmar’s onions from Tk 190 to Tk 200 a kg, Egypt’s variety for Tk 160 to Tk 180 a kg, and the Chinese ones for Tk 140 a kg.