Onion prices> Meat? Yes, in this country

Published on Jan 14, 2023 03:32 PM IST

Philippines onion prices: Red and white onions in Philippines were sold as high as 600 pesos ($10.88) per kg, according to the agriculture department’s Manila market analysis figures.

Philippines onion prices: Red and white onions in Philippines were sold as high as 600 pesos ($10.88) per kg. (Twitter)
Philippines onion prices: Red and white onions in Philippines were sold as high as 600 pesos ($10.88) per kg. (Twitter)
ByShobhit Gupta

In Philippines, the prices of onions are now twice higher than meat. The skyrocketing price of onions has become a major concern among the citizens since onion is a major food ingredient. Red and white onions in Philippines were sold as high as 600 pesos ($10.88) per kg as of 9 January, Times Magazine reported.

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The onion price is three times as expensive as chicken and 25%-50% more expensive than pork or beef, the report said quoting agriculture department’s Manila market analysis figures.

The cost per kg onion is greater than the Philippine minimum wage for a full day's work. Onion is a staple food of Philippines local cuisine. Its average monthly demand for onion is around 17,000 metric tons, the report added.

The price rise may be attributed to global inflation, climate conditions and supply chain issues because of the Russia-Ukraine war.

Philippines national statistician Dennis Mapa in his briefing said that the inflation in the country reached a 14-year-high of 8.1% in December, with onion making up 0.3% of the inflation, Times magazine reported.

Agriculture authorities announced this week that they would require imports of around 22,000 tons of the vegetable by March to ensure domestic supply while curbing rising costs.

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To address the supply shortfall, Philippines president Bongbong Marcos ordered the trade department to impose a “suggested retail price” of 250 pesos ($4.53) per kg for onions. Despite the price cap, onions continue to be expensive.

In a radio interview to The Manila Times, Agriculture Assistant Secretary Kristine Evangelista said, “the farm gate prices of the bulbs ranged between 190 pesos and 200 pesos, but the middlemen sell the onions to the vendors at 500 pesos per kg.”

As per the report, the customs authorities seized red onions worth $362,000 from China concealed by boxes of bread and pastry products and white onions worth $309,000 in garment containers last month.

The government is looking to sell smuggled onions legally to address supply shortfall.

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