Bangladesh to import onions from Pakistan after 15-year hiatus

KARACHI: Pakistan has received the first onion export order of more than 300 tons from Bangladesh after nearly 15 years of recess following an Indian ban on the vegetable’s outbound shipment to its neighbouring country to avert price hike in domestic markets, reported The News.

An official of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) quoted in the report confirmed that Bangladesh’s Tasho Enterprise finalised deals with a Karachi-based Roshan Enterprise.

“At least 12 containers of onions are being exported to Bangladesh,” the official said. “More would follow.”

India has slapped a ban on exports of onion to Bangladesh due to its local shortage amid floods. Bangladesh imports 700,000 to 1.1 million tons of onions a year and of which around 75 percent was imported from India. The ban caused surge in prices to new heights in Bangladesh, as the market was heavily dependent on Indian supply.

In Dhaka, consumers are being asked to pay 120 taka ($1.42) per kilogram for onions — twice the price a fortnight ago and the highest since December 2013, claimed the report.

“The shipment value from Pakistan would be around $600/ton,” Waheed Ahmed, patron-in-chief of All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association, said. He said one container carries approximately 28 tons, reported the publication.

Ahmed doesn’t know the exact local onion production, “as the production fluctuates drastically in Pakistan.” “But whenever the crop is good, a significant quantity can be exported without impacting local supply,” he said.

A kilogram price of onion soared more than 150 percent to Rs83 during the last week. Onion prices more than doubled in October over the corresponding month a year earlier. Month-on-month, there was around four percent increase, according to the report.

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