Soybean oil price hits all-time high at the retail level
With customers already feeling the heat of the upward rice prices, edible oil, vegetables, pulses, spices and even chickens are also getting costlier.
Many compared the uncontrolled pricing to the summer heat although winter is nearing an end, reports Bangla Tribune.
Visiting several kitchen and wholesale markets in Dhaka on Friday, it was found that bottled soybean oil was selling at up to Tk140 a litre, the highest retail price as of to date. It was available at around Tk100 even a few months ago.
The highest price of 5-litre jars containing soybean oil is Tk685 at the retail level. Most other brands also raised the prices at different ranges in a week.
Potato, onion, garlic, ginger, wheat, flour, lentil, and broiler chicken are also being sold at higher prices than those of last week, causing both middle-and low-income groups to suffer.
Abu Hanif, a Gopibagh resident, said with winter going by, it seems like the markets started to turn “hotter”.
“The rice prices have been unstable with a rising trend for the past two months. The same situation was prevailing with other everyday essentials in the market,” he said.
Rice and soybean oil, he claimed, are no longer affordable for ordinary people.
“Even vegetables, flour, wheat, onion, garlic, potato and pulses are also getting pricier,” he observed.
Each litre of soybean oil of the Rupchanda brand was selling for Tk140, which many retailers termed the highest in the country. However, the oil of Fresh and Teer brands is Tk5 cheaper. Traders are charging Tk130 for soybean oil of the Pusti and Bashundhara brands.
The 5-litre bottled soybean oil of the Fresh, Teer and Pusti brands were sold for Tk655, while Bashundhara’s one was priced at Tk650.
Retailers, wholesalers and importers said the prices of loose soybean and palm are also on an upward trend.
At the Karwan Bazar retail market, each litre of loose soybean oil is selling for Tk112-115 and palm oil at Tk102-105.
According to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), the prices of soybean oil are 19-26% higher than those recorded last year.
Ramadan is a little over two months away
As Ramadan is a little over two months away, the government should increase the supply of soybean oil, thus, helping bring down the prices, said Haji Golam Mawla, general secretary of the Moulvibazar Businessmen's Association in Old Dhaka.
“Though the prices of soybean oil increased in the country in line with the international market, the supply has plummeted in the domestic market,” he said.
“Instead of six mills, only three is now supplying soybean oil in the local market. So, the government must act immediately in this regard,” the businessman said.
Meanwhile, the local variety of onions has become 19% pricier in a week as it is selling for Tk35-40 currently.
As they make it a point in every price hike, traders blamed a supply crunch for the increased prices of locally grown onions.
Loose flour, which was selling for Tk28 last week, is not available at Tk32. The price of each kg packaged flour shot up by 5% over the same period.
Potato, garlic, turmeric, ginger prices soared in a week by 5%, 6%, 9% and 5% respectively. Ripen tomato prices doubled to Tk20-30, while beans are priced between Tk15 and Tk30.
Each cabbage and cauliflower are being sold at Tk15-20, white radish, carrot and brinjal at Tk10-15, Tk15-30 and Tk10-25 per kg respectively.
Fine rice is available at Tk58, medium-quality rice at Tk52 and coarse rice at Tk48.
A vegetable seller at Manik Nagar, Akbar Ali said they have an adequate supply of winter vegetables, but those are higher in prices.
Each kg of broiler chicken is selling for Tk130-140, after a Tk5 increase in a week.