Some 27,000 tonnes of onion worth Tk 102 crore have apparently been abandoned at the Chattogram port by importers, as their selling price expectations were decimated by an influx of the Indian variety and local harvests.
September this past year saw a good mad rush for importing your kitchen staple after prices became popular to reach an archive most of Tk 250 per kilogramme (kg) in 2019, fuelled by India's export ban and weak local supplies.
Importers secured government approval to generate 217,000 tonnes. Since that time they imported 147,000 tonnes. Of it, about 120,000 tonnes experienced the Chattogram port as of Thursday, as prices stayed afloat up to Tk 100 per kg.
But after India lifted the ban along exports on the initially day of January and the neighborhood variety started to be harvested, the onions which were imported from different countries lost their appeal.
If the importers try to receive their goods, they could have to pay costs for storage area facilities of refrigerated containers and demurrage costs for delays in obtaining the items released.
Then your overall cost would reach about Tk 50 per kg. However the imports won't sell for a lot more than Tk 15 a kg because they are of inferior quality compared to those from India and the neighborhood sources.
Countless importers say perishable items such as for example onion have a short shelf life after they are thawed about being taken out of freezer containers. So traders come to receive the products from the port after having purchased them beforehand to reduce chances of it rotting. There is a shortage of space at warehouses aswell.
Had Indian onions not arrived, importers could possess produced a profit even right after paying the demurrage charges. Now, it isn't possible as the purchase price has dropped, importers claim.
Based on the Chattogram port sources, 27,000 tonnes of onions were imported right from nine countries, like the Netherlands, Turkey, Thailand and Egypt, and the ones had been lying in the yards as of Thursday.
Normally, 2,500 tonnes of onions were being delivered from the port each day prior to the Indian onions to enter the market. Nowadays, it has gone right down to 500 tonnes.
Customs laws declare that importers have to have the delivery of goods within thirty days after their arrival in the port. If they are unsuccessful, the authorities begins the procedures to auction the products.
Around 1,100 tonnes of onion have already been set up for auction. The onions were not sent to importers for different reasons, stated Faisal Bin Rahman, deputy commissioner for auction.
It is the single most significant auction of onions, he said. Another 900 tonnes of onions are becoming examined, and they'll be auctioned in the near future, he said.
Omar Farooq imported 72 tonnes of onions from the Netherlands in the middle of November. Although 8 weeks have passed, the importer hasn't taken the delivery.
"The demand for onions from different countries offers declined as India possesses given the opportunity to export onions. Due to the convenience of the refrigerated container at the port, we have the delivery after the advance sale," he said.
"However, because of the sudden fall found in prices and the re-imposition of 5 per cent tariffs, the loss will increase if we take the delivery of these onions," he added.
On January 7, the National Board of Revenue re-imposed the 5 % customs duty on the import of the fundamental cooking ingredient. The duty was withdrawn in September to allow the importers to buy onions from international sources to improve supplies.
Mintu Sawdagar, a wholesaler of Chattogram's Khatunganj market and owner of Muhammadiya Traders, said the cost of all onions, including the domestic ones, came down by Tk 20 per kg as a result of the imports from India.
No one is considering buying the onions that came from different countries. There is definitely demand limited to local and Indian onions as the standard of the former is not good, he said.
Local and Indian onions could be sold every day, whereas it takes up to week to obvious the varieties from different countries. Wholesalers aren't storing the kinds from other countries as a result of the shortage of space in warehouses in Khatunganj.
Indian onions are for sale at Tk 40-42 per kg on the wholesale market, local onions in Tk 28-30, Egyptian onions at Tk 30-34, and Dutch onions at Tk 20-30 per kg in the kitchen market in Saturday, said Sawdagar.
Prior to the arrival of Indian onions, the onions from other countries were sold at Tk 40-45 per kg in the wholesale markets, he added.