Customers blame profit-monger traders for the price hikes
As it happens every year centering major religious, national or social events in Bangladesh, the prices of at least six daily essentials have surged just a week before Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest festival of Muslims.
Broiler chicken, bottled soybean oil, sugar, flour, garlic, cumin and cinnamon are selling at a higher price than that of last week, reports Bangla Tribune.
Customers blame unscrupulous wholesalers and retailers for the situation as they raise the prices to make a quick buck by taking advantage of a mammoth demand for various consumer products during Eid, showing the excuse of lockdown imposed due to Covid-19 outbreak.
Golam Kibria, a resident of Dhaka city’s Manik Nagar area, was shocked as he went to the local kitchen market Friday as he witnessed a rise in the prices of products, which had gone down at the beginning of Ramadan.
“Almost all kinds of spices including garlic, cumin and cinnamon have become costlier now,” he said.
Visiting several kitchen markets, it was found that the prices of per kg chicken surged by Tk10-15, garlic by Tk10, cinnamon by Tk10, cumin by Tk20, sugar by Tk2-3 and flour by Tk2. Per liter bottled soybean oil got Tk2-3 costlier, while each liter palm super oil became Tk2 pricier.
However, the prices of rice, eggs, potato and dry chili remained static while some traders reduced the prices.
Each liter of soybean oil is now selling for Tk140-146, depending on different brands. Palm super oil is now sold at Tk125-127.
Both loose and branded sugar prices increased in a week. Each kg loose sugar is now available at Tk75-76 with the packaged one at Tk78.
The updated estimate of the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), too, attests to the price hikes.
Nevertheless, the state-run corporation says that rice prices dropped by Tk1-2. Dry chili, egg, potato and onion became a bit cheaper in a week, according to the TCB.
Traders said that the prices of coarse, medium and fine rice varieties decreased slightly.
The broiler poultry birds were selling at Tk150-155 per kg, at least Tk15 more than last week’s price. Layer chicken prices too jumped, now selling at T230-235, up from Tk200-220 a week ago. Chicken of another popular breed, Sonali, is being sold at Tk240-280, while each dozen eggs at Tk84-90.
Meanwhile, each cauliflower is selling at Tk40-50, bottle gourd at Tk60-70, per kg brinjal at Tk40-60, cucumber at Tk30-40, pointed gourd at Tk30-40, yard-long bean at Tk40-50, okra at Tk30-40, luffa at Tk40-50, tomato at Tk30-40, arum-lobe at Tk70-80 and spiny gourd at Tk80-90.