Onion prices have skyrocketed in Pakistan’s local markets, reaching a staggering Rs240 per kg. Retailers attribute this significant increase to the rise in exports, impacting the cost of this essential kitchen item.
Sheikh Muhammad Shah Jahan, the President of the Wholesale Vegetable Association, shed light on the current situation in a morning show. He explained that the recent spike in onion prices is largely due to India’s decision to ban onion exports. India, the world’s leading onion exporter, implemented this ban from December 8, 2023, to March 2024, following a domestic price surge caused by decreased production.
In the wake of India’s export ban, Pakistani exporters capitalized on the opportunity, leading to a sharp increase in local onion prices from Rs120-140 to Rs160-180. Since then, the prices have continued to escalate.
The Burden on Consumers Amidst Rising Costs
Shah Jahan also pointed out the challenges consumers already struggling with inflation face. The soaring onion prices have forced many to limit their purchases to less than one kg to manage daily expenses on other necessities.
Despite the steep price rise, Shah Jahan clarified that Pakistan has no shortage of onions. He emphasized that the country has experienced a plentiful onion harvest this year. However, he expressed concern that while the country benefits from foreign exchange earnings through exports, the citizens bear the financial burden of these policies.