Onion prices to go down to P200 per kilo

Onion prices to go down to P200 per kilo

Jan 24, 2023, 8:48 AM
Dhana Garcia

Dhana Garcia


Since imported onions have arrived in the nation and are anticipated to start selling within the week, onion prices will begin to decline after months of their rising prices which reached a maximum of P600 per kilogram.

With the arrival of government- sanctioned onion importations, officials are confident that onion prices-- which have shot to P700 per kilo long before the Christmas holidays-- would go down to P200 a kilo, still too high compared to 2020 rates of only P120 a kilo.

The prices of onions have started to rise since August, 2022 forcing restaurant and eatery owners to complain that suppliers had increased prices by at least ten times. The price increase persisted until todate when a kilogram of onions cost double the price of beef and three times that of chicken and pork.

The demand for onions has been higher than the supply hence the price increase. Last August, the Department of Agriculture (DA) already warned that the supply of onions was dwindling and would not be enough to meet the public's demand.

The DA belatedly approved the importatin of over 21,000 metric tons to stop the further surge in onion prices and help consumers be able to buy this basic cooking ingredient.

Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) Director Glenn Panganiban said the first batches of onion imports arrived late last Friday and the BPI is awaiting the second border clearance for 400 metric tons of yellow onions and 800 metric tons of red onions from the local cold storage.

Panganiban said that the local markets should start selling the imported onions within a week.

The BPI previously launched a 21,060-MT onion importation program, but only about 5,000 MT received sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances (SPSICs), as importers demonstrated a lack of interest in the import program due to a number of factors.

DA added that the prevailing retail prices of local red onions in Metro Manila markets have relaxed to P200 to P350 per kilogram compared to P700 per kilogram on average.

But according to DA reports, imported white onions cost between P220 and P300 per kilogram while local white onions go from P200 to P350 per kilogram.

Panganiban emphasized that they do not anticipate the entire 5,000 MT of approved imports to enter the country, which has historically been the case with government importation programs.

Meanwhile, agriculture assistant secretary Rex Estoperez said that the imported stocks would not be focused on Metro Manila alone as they will be divided among consumers nationwide.

“We have ports designated in Visayas and Mindanao. Our [red onion] imports will be distributed and allocated to Visayas and Mindanao except for the yellow onions.” He said.

He added that the price cap on the imported onions would be finalized within the week. The prices must be ensured that they do not go below the cost of production of local onions or else, the farmers will be losing in this situation.

Tags: #DA, #Onions, #Prices, #Imported

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