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The price of onions in wholesale and local markets is on the decline as Indian trucks carrying onions have started entering Bangladesh through different land ports. According to media reports, India will export 25,000 tonnes of onions to Bangladesh. This has also played a role in cooling down the market. Traders said the price may down further today (Sunday).

Local onions sold at Tk 65 per kg at Shyambazar wholesale market in the capital this morning while the price of the Indian variety was Tk 50.

Mohammad Majed, a wholesale trader at Shyambazar, said that the price local onions was Tk 65-70 per kg on Saturday. But he sold those at Tk 65 this morning. “The price is declining.”

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Two days ago, the price of the local variety was around Tk 90 per kg while the Indian variety was Tk 50-55.

Narayan Chandra Saha, owner of Nabin Traders at Shyambazar, told Prothom Alo that the price may come down more today as huge amounts of onions were entering the market but the buyers were few.

The Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry made it clear that the ban will not be applicable for those pre-contracted shipments and necessary directives have been given to allow such eligible consignments. But there will be no more new contracts until the notification is revised

The price has come down in retail markets in the capital as well. The local variety of onion sold at Tk 80-90 per kg while that of the Indian variety at Tk 65-70. Retailers also mentioned the lack of buyers.

UNB adds: Amid the skyrocketing onion prices in the local market, consignments of Indian variety of the essential kitchen item started entering Bangladesh through different land ports on Saturday.

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A good number of trucks carrying onions from the neighbouring country entered Bangladesh through Bhomra land port at Satkhira, Sonamasjid land port of Chapainawabganj and Hilli land port in Dinajpur.

Earlier, the Indian government imposed a ban on onion export on 14 September in an effort to meet domestic demand.

As Bangladesh is largely dependent on imported onions, the ban had an adverse impact on the local onion market and resulted in a sharp price hike.

Later, India declared that it would allow the export of the onions which had been handed over to customs on the date that the export ban was imposed.

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The Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry made it clear that the ban will not be applicable for those pre-contracted shipments and necessary directives have been given to allow such eligible consignments.

But there will be no more new contract henceforth until the notification is revised, a senior official told news agency UNB.

Due to the initiative, trucks loaded with Indian onions started entering Bangladesh through Bhomra port of Satkhira at noon.

Mostafizur Rahman Nasim, general secretary of C&F Agents Association of Bhomra, said, “Thirty-two trucks have entered the country from India on Saturday. Each of the trucks was carrying around 25 tonnes of onions.”

Some 255 trucks were waiting on Indian side to enter Bangladesh, he said, adding that the rest will cross the border gradually.

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India announced the export of 25,000 tonnes of onions through Bhomra, Hili and Sonamasjid land ports. Of them, 8,000 tonnes are likely to enter Bangladesh using Bhomra port, Nasim mentioned.

Meanwhile, local traders disclosed that a large quantity of onions rotted as the trucks had been stuck on the Indian side for five days.

Mohshin Hossain, a customs official of Bhomra, said the amount of onions to come depends on India’s decision.

In Chapainawabganj, consignments of Indian onions started entering the country through Sonamasjid land port in the morning.

Taufiqur Rahman Babu, general secretary of the Sonamasjid Land Port Import-Export Group, said India has allowed the export of onions, which were tendered before the ban.

Following the development, the consignment of onions started arriving at the port around 11:00am on Saturday.

He hoped that all the trucks stuck on Indian side would enter Bangladesh gradually.

Over 150 onion laden trucks got stuck on the Indian side of Sonamasjid port when Indian government imposed the ban.