• Wednesday, Aug 10, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Shutdown announcement sparks panic buying

  • Published at 06:05 pm June 27th, 2021
WEB_Karwan Bazar kitchen market_Rajib Dhar
File photo shows a general view of the kitchen market at Karwan in Dhaka, Bangladesh Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

Kitchen market traders claim that most consumers stockpiled on the essential ingredients, which caused prices to rise

Consumers flocked to the capital's kitchen markets on Sunday to stock up on essential cooking ingredients before the country went into a stricter lockdown from Monday to prevent a surge of Covid-19 infections.

Visiting multiple kitchen markets in the capital, it was observed that most of the essential commodity prices hiked in the wake of the lockdown announcement.

Consumers claimed that traders sensed that people may purchase commodities in bulk before the shutdown, and used it as an excuse to hike prices, citing increased demand.

But kitchen market wholesalers and retailers said that most consumers stockpiled on the essential ingredients, which caused prices to rise.

Nipun Saha, a consumer at Hatirpool kitchen market, said that she bought an adequate amount of rice, pulses, edible oil, salt, potatoes and onions. But she also said that prices had increased from last week, as a result of lax monitoring.

Another consumer Rasel Ahmed said that back-to-back lockdown announcements had caused many like him to panic, and forced him to stockpile on goods.

Mahbubur Rahman, a consumer at Zigatola kitchen market, said that unscrupulous traders found an opportunity to spike prices and make a quick profit, despite everything being in more than adequate supply.

The government should be tougher against them, he added.

Nabibur Rahaman, a retailer at Hatirpool kitchen market, said that people were buying almost double than what they usually required, creating scarcity of some products in the market.

"We are also suffering as a result, as consumers are buying everything in extra amounts,” he added.

But he acknowledged that commodity prices were stable until Friday, but shot up early Sunday.

The same scenario of price hikes in other kitchen markets across the capital, including Karwan Bazar, Shantinagar and New Market.

The price of imported dry chilies has gone up by Tk20 per kg, selling on Sunday for Tk240-280 per kilo, while the local ones cost Tk170-200 per kg.

Bottled edible oil prices also went up by Tk8 per litre, as a 5-litre bottle sold at Tk680-728.

Imported ginger sold from Tk160-170 per kg, which was Tk120-150 per kg even on Friday.

Local ginger sold at Tk140-150 per kg.

Local turmeric prices also went up by Tk20 per kg, from Tk160-180 to Tk200-220 per kg.

Imported turmeric is sold for Tk140-180 per kg.

Loose flour was sold at Tk35-40 per kg on Sunday, which was Tk35-36 on Friday.

Medium quality pulses also increased in price by Tk5-10 per kg, selling on Sunday for Tk90-100 per kg, which was Tk85-90 on Friday.

Beef sold on Sunday for Tk600 per kg, which Tk580 per kg even on Friday, while mutton sold for Tk850-900 per kg, broiler chicken Tk140-145 per kg, red layer chicken at Tk230 and Sonali chicken at Tk210 to 220 kg.

In addition, all types of fish also saw hikes from Tk10-20, depending on their size and quality.