Onion prices continue to rise as export demand remains high

The local market has witnessed a huge increase in onion prices owing to strong demand from the neighboring country, according to onion depot owners.

DSC 1974 Labourers carrying sacks of onions on their shoulders. Photo Phoe Khwar copy
Labourers carrying sacks of onions on their shoulders. Photo: Phoe Khwar

On 20 September, onions fetched K500-900 per viss (one viss equals 1.6 kg) in the wholesale market. The price jumped to K2,000 per viss on 16 November.
In early November, onions were priced around K3,000 per viss in the retail market of Pazuntaung Township. The price shot up to K4,000 per viss on 15 November, said a housewife who lives on the junction of Bogyoke Street and 51st street. At the beginning of the onion season, onions were being sold for just K400-500 per viss. But, the prices rose in a volatile market mid-year. Although traders said stocking onions might lead to losses, the price of domestic onions crossed K3,000 per viss in 2015, 2018, and 2019.
The price of onions was K800-900 per viss in September. Last month, Bangladesh’s demand for Myanmar’s onions coupled with high demand in the local market had hiked up prices, according to the Mandalay commodity depot.
In response to the surge in prices, the government has allowed onion imports. In the previous years, China flooded the onion market with bulk supply.
At present, there is inflow of Chinese onions into the local markets, with the wholesale prices ranging between K1,100 and 1,600 per viss.
Myanmar’s onions are also being shipped to China. Myanmar exported 19,417 tons of onions worth US$7.797 million in the 2017-2018 financial year, 28,659 tons worth $8.468 million in the mini-budget period (April to September, 2018), over 69,180 tons worth $15 million in the 2018-2019 FY, and 3,889 tons worth $1.53 million between 1 and 14 October in the 2019-2020FY through the Muse 105th mile trade zone, as per data released by the Trade Department.
The prices may change depending on the weather conditions and market supply, said traders. —Khin Saing/ Thant Zin
(Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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