Onion warehouse owners in Minbu facing loss as price plummets

Onion 0
Onion price declines because of the bulk supply and the closure of the western border.  Photo: Zeya Htet

Those farmers who store the onions in high hopes of price gain are now experiencing financial hardships as the price plunged to K400 per viss (a viss equals 1.6 kg) in the Minbu market of Magway Region, an onion grower said.
“We are expecting foreign demand. Earlier, the onion fetched K1,200-1,300 per viss. Now, the price drastically fell, and the growers face losses,” said U Tun, a grower. “The prevailing prices of onions are K400-500 per viss in the retail market. The lower demand brings down the price,” said U Thar Paw, a warehouse owner. The growers are hoping for the market recovery when the transportation difficulties are eased. At present, we are burdened by high input cost,” said U Myint Shwe, a grower from Minbu Township. The prices of onions sharply dropped owing to the bulk supply and the closure of the western border amid the coronavirus impacts.
“Earlier, onions were highly demanded by Bangladesh, India and China. Now, the trade with Bangladesh and India has halted to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Therefore, the price is on the decline,” said a wholesale onion dealer from Mandalay. “This year, the onion growers and 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.
According to the Mandalay, 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 commodity depot. The high demand by foreign markets and a remarkable price rise prompted the growers to expand the onion cultivation this year. 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.—Zeya Htet, Ko Htet (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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