Large onion shipment from India arriving soon in Malaysia to moderate recent price surge

A labourer carries a sack of onions at a wholesale vegetable market in Chennai, on Feb 1, 2021.
A labourer carries a sack of onions at a wholesale vegetable market in Chennai, on Feb 1, 2021.PHOTO: AFP

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Dry those tears, shoppers.

A shipment of onions from India has arrived to help ensure sufficient supply and stable pricing of the commodity, said Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi on Tuesday (Feb 9).

Prices of Indian onions have risen to as much as RM18 (S$6) per kilo from late last year, compared to their usual prices of between RM3 and RM4 per kilo, due to shortages.

"We have been given an assurance by a large wholesaler who imports onions from India that there will be sufficient supply in the coming week.

"In fact, the shipment has arrived in the country but (the ship) has yet to dock," Datuk Seri Nantha said during a visit to a hypermarket in Kuchai Lama, Selangor.

Last month, during his visit to a wholesaler in Klang, he had given an assurance that there would be an adequate supply of onions in the country.

He said that India, Malaysia's main source, had recovered from recent flooding and was able to resume exports of its onions.

Malaysia mainly imports small red onions from India, China, Thailand and Myanmar; small red rose onions and big onions from India; red onions from China; and big yellow onions from Holland.

Mr Nanta gave his assurance that there is ample supply of local and imported food during festive as well as and non-festive periods.

On a separate matter, he said some traders were selling items under the price control scheme at lower prices for Chinese New Year.

"For example, standard chicken is being sold 50 sen cheaper.

"Other items such as onions, red chillies and imported potatoes are also being sold cheaper," he said.

The festive price control scheme for 16 food items began on Monday and will continue until Feb 16. Chinese New Year will be celebrated on Friday.

Among the items listed in Malaysia's price-control list were chicken, eggs, round cabbage, red chillies, tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, white pomfret, large prawns, pork belly, and pork meat and fat.