Onion prices in bear market even when winter growing season starts

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Croplands are placed under onion plantations in winter cultiration season in Kyaukpadaung Township in Mandalay Region.  Photo : Ko Htein (KPD) 

Although the winter onion growing season commenced in Kyaukpadaung Township, Mandalay Region, the prices are on the downward trend. Additionally, the onions still remain in the growers’ hands, forcing them to sell the onions at the prevailing prices not to suffer losses, said U Tun Shein from U Sein warehouse in Kyaukpadaung Township.
The onion growers as well as traders have been experiencing market fallouts due to the lack of foreign demand and the closure of the events and festivals amidst the COVID-19 impacts, the growers stressed.
“We face high input costs including wages and fertilizer. Onion cultivation costs K2 million per acre,” said a grower U Tin Tun.
At present, onion is worth only K300 per viss (a viss equals to 1.6 kg) in maximum in Kyaukpadaung. Therefore, the growers are struggling to make capital for the next season.
In early 2020, the onion fetched K1,200-1,300 per viss. Then, the price drastically fell in the COVID-19 crisis. Earlier, onions were highly demanded by Bangladesh and India.
Next, 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 remarkable rise in price prompted the growers to expand the onion cultivation in 2020. Unfortunately, the market is getting worse amidst the COVID-19 negative consequences.
The prices of domestic onions exceeded K3,000 per viss in 2015, 2018, and 2019.
The onions are primarily grown in Mandalay, Magway and Yangon regions, Nay Pyi Taw and Shan State.— Ko Htein (KPD)/GNLM

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