Turkey once again faces onion shortage, extreme price rise

Onion prices on the Turkish market hiked up to nearly 10 Turkish liras per kg as the country faces onion shortage, Turkish newspaper Sözcü reported on Sunday.

Before the March 31 local election, Turkish authorities started selling cheap fruits and vegetables at food stalls in city squares. As of the election is over, the government carried food stalls into supermarkets.

The onion price in wholesale market halls steers between 5-7 Turkish liras per kg as the state-provided onions are sold around 2 Turkish liras at supermarkets. However, the cheap onions drained soon after citizens rushed into supermarkets to buy onions for affordable prices. Onion is removed from online sales as the shortage occurred, Sözcü said. 

In small supermarkets which do not have state-provided food stalls, onion price has risen to between 7-10 Turkish liras, according to the newspaper.

Earlier, Turkey was dealing with skyrocketing onion prices. The government was set to allow onion imports in certain amounts and from certain countries in an effort to curb prices.

On Jan. 15, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ordered tariffs on onion imports be set to zero until Feb. 29. Today it has been extended until the end of April by the orders of the president, according to Turkish news site Diken.

When a kilo of onion became over 6 Turkish liras, the government said it was due to "illegal" stocking. Turkish police raided various storehouses where producers and dealers store onions, accusing them of hoarding products to hike up prices. Onion producers were taken into custody and onions were confiscated.