Onion growers may suffer loss due to bulk supply amidst COVID resurgence

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Workers sort out onions for packaging and selling later. photo: Supplied

The onion growers, as well as traders, are experiencing market fallouts due to the surging COVID-19 cases. As a result of this, workers engaged in onion depots are suffering financial hardship, said a depot owner from Mandalay. At present, there is a steady demand for China. The onions are highly yielded this year. If there is no external market beyond China, it might hurt the growers and traders. “Earlier, onions were highly demanded by Bangladesh, India and China. Now, the trade with Bangladesh and India is halted to contain the spread of the coronavirus. That’s why the price is on the decline,” said onion depot owner from Mandalay.
“The prevailing prices of onions range between 400-550 per viss (a viss equals to 1.6 kg) in the domestic market depending on the size and quality. The market is regular during June and July. The growers will undoubtedly suffer a loss if the onions cannot be exported to Bangladesh and India. Indeed, the onions will be stockpiled in the market,” said a grower. Last year, Bangladesh’s demand for Myanmar’s onions coupled with high demand in the local market hiked up prices, soaring up to K4,000 per viss on 15 November 2019, according to the Mandalay commodity depot. The high demand by foreign markets and a remarkable rise in price prompted the growers to expand the onion cultivation.
Although traders said stocking onions might lead to losses, the price of domestic onions exceeded K3,000 per viss in 2015, 2018, and 2019.
However, there is uncertainty with foreign demand during the coronavirus pandemic, a market observer pointed out. Onion prices may change depending on the weather conditions and market supply, said traders. The onions are primarily grown in Mandalay, Magway and Yangon regions, Nay Pyi Taw and Shan State.—Ko Htet (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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