Onion farmers, traders suffer as prices weaken

Women selecting onions at a warehouse in Kyaukse.  Photo: Hteik Htar Naing (IPRD)
Women selecting onions at a warehouse in Kyaukse.  Photo: Hteik Htar Naing (IPRD)

With demand from China and Bangladesh trickling to a stop, the prices of Myanmar onions have slumped, leading to losses for growers and traders.
“The prices dropped after Bangladesh stopped purchases. We cannot export onions to China either due to COVID-19. Also, when supply exceeds demand, the prices plunge. Summer onions have been freshly harvested in Mandalay, Sagaing, and Magway regions,” said U Win Myint from Shwemanhla onion depot.
Kyaukse, Myittha, and Singaing are the main suppliers of onion to the Mandalay market. About 3,000-4,000 viss of onions (a viss equals 1.6 kg) are produced per acre and so, most growers are choosing to cultivate onions.
“With Bangladesh suspending onion imports, Myanmar’s onion growers and traders are facing a hard time. Earlier, traders made advanced purchases of onions at K1,200-1,500 per viss. Now, the price has plunged to K500-600 per viss. Therefore, some traders have cancelled the contract and lost their deposit. Both growers and traders have been battered by low prices,” he said.
At present, onions prices are ranging between K500 and 900, depending on the variety. — Hteik Htar Naing (IPRD) (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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