Onion price increases leave market vulnerable to Chinese imports

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A farmer works in the onion field in Padigon, Bago Region.  Photo: phoe Khwar

ONION prices increased over 50 per cent recently due to dwindling stocks, according to the Myanmar Onion, Garlic and Kitchen Crops Exporters’ Association.
“The price of onion has increased, but onions are not selling well in the market. We are looking at the situation. We’re optimistic that the price of onion will not increase highly because the new onion will enter the market in October,” said U Khin Han, the chairman of Myanmar Onion, Garlic and Kitchen Crops Exporters’ Association.
Rising domestic onion prices has created an opening for cheaper, more plentiful illegal Chinese onion imports, said U Win Myint, the secretary of Mandalay Region Kitchen Crops Association.
As local onions are selling for more than Ks1,000 per viss, Chinese onions sell for as cheap as Ks600 or Ks700 per viss, he said, though he was critical of their quality.
In the first week of July, onion prices ranged between Ks900 and Ks1,250 per viss in Bayint Naung wholesale market. The prevailing price of onions ranges from Ks1,600 to Ks2,250 per viss on 7 September.
In the same period last year, onion prices sold for less than Ks1,000 per viss. Previously, Myanmar exported onions to China and Thailand.— GNLM

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