Onion imports fail to check price spiral

Updated 20 Sep 2020

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FAISALABAD: In file photo labourers are seen unloading onion bags from a delivery truck at Sabzi Mandi. — APP
FAISALABAD: In file photo labourers are seen unloading onion bags from a delivery truck at Sabzi Mandi. — APP

KARACHI: Onions from Iran and Afghanistan have been finding their way into local markets for the last 10 days to bridge demand and supply gap following reports of crop damage in Sindh and Balochistan due to devastating rains.

However, consumers did not get any price relief as retailers are charging Rs10 per kg extra on both the imported varieties ranging between Rs50-60 per kg.

Market Committee Karachi Division Vice-Chairman Asif Ahmed said some 80-90 trucks carrying 15-20 tonnes of imported onions have been arriving daily in the Super Highway Subzi Mandi for over a week.

He, however, said Iranian onion is arriving through informal channels.

The wholesale price of Afghanistan and Iranian onion is Rs1,800-2,000 and Rs1,500-1,600 per 40 kg, respectively. He said the wet Balochistan crop is available at Rs800-1,000 per 40 kg.

Falahi Anjuman Wholesale Market New Subzi Mandi Super Highway President Haji Shahjehan said rains and floods have definitely affected Sindh onion crop, but expressed the hope it will hit the markets by October end.

On reports of arrival of Iranian tomato, he said very little quantity is arriving from Iran while Balochistan crop is also available. Tomato is selling between Rs100-120 per kg at the retail markets. Tomato arrival from Mingora and Swat has also started.

He said potato is arriving from Punjab while the markets have also seen availability of Quetta and Iranian potato. The retail price of potato hovers between Rs50-60 per kg.

Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2020