• Friday, Jun 09, 2023
  • Last Update : 06:03 pm

Lockdown keeps commodity prices high

  • Published at 07:23 pm August 7th, 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

Green chilies witnessed the most abnormal hike, from Tk100 per kilogram the week before, to Tk200-240 per kg

Prices of essential cooking ingredients continued to remain high this past week as its traders still blame it on the ongoing strict lockdown and excessive downpour.

Green chilies witnessed the most abnormal hike, from Tk100 per kilogram the week before, to Tk200-240 per kg this past week.

However, prices of broiler chicken and Ilish decreased from the week before.

Visiting several kitchen markets on Saturday, including New Market, Hatirpool, Karwan Bazar, Mohakhali and others, this correspondent found high prices of goods amid a handful of customers, despite everything being in abundant supply.

Retailers blamed the monsoon this week, which severely disrupted the supply chain distribution channel, behind supply scarcity, while customers maintained their suspicion of a syndicate capitalizing on the price hike.

Vegetables such as carrots and tomatoes became costlier by Tk30-50 per kilogram, selling on Saturday for Tk170 and Tk150 per kg respectively.

Other items such as cucumbers sold for Tk120 per kg, which was Tk80 last week. Hybrid cucumbers sold for Tk60-70 per kg, which was Tk30 last week.

Also Read - After lockdown, traders blame rain for surging commodity prices

After Eid-ul-Azha, green chilies sold for Tk100 per kg, but Rasel Ahmed, a vegetable retailer at Hatirpool kitchen market, said that excessive rainfall caused most of the supply to perish earlier than usual, resulting in lower supply of chilies in the market.

This shot chili prices up to Tk240 per kg, similar to the rates the vegetable sells during Ramadan, when it is at its peak demand.

Another retailer, Sardar Ali, said that supply of vegetables could not enter the capital due to the strict lockdown, not to mention the scarcity in supplies.

Spices also remained out of the consumers' reach, as cumin sold for Tk300 per kg, cinnamon for Tk380 per kg, small cardamom for Tk2,400 per kg, coriander powder and turmeric powder at Tk120 per kg.

Onions sold for Tk45 per kg, local garlic Tk80-90 per kg, Chinese garlic at Tk150 per kg, local ginger Tk130 per kg and foreign ginger for Tk160 per kg.

In the fish market, prices slightly dipped. Ruhi sold at Tk250 per kg, down from Tk280-350 last week, while Ilish sold for Tk800 per kg, down from Tk1,250-1,350 per kg last week.

Although the supply of fish is adequate in the markets, the number of buyers is dissatisfactory, said Mostofa Kamal, a fish retailer.

Broiler chicken prices came down from Tk150-160 per kg last week to Tk140 per kg.

Rice prices however, remained high this past week, as Sharna rice sold of Tk50-52 per kg last week, compared to Tk48 the week before.

Additionally, BR-28, which also sold for Tk50-52 per kg last week, went up to Tk54-55 per kg.

Both low and fine quality Najirshail sold for Tk56-60 per kg. unchanged from last week.

Various coarse rice varieties sold at Tk50 per kg, which was Tk46 last week.

According to a market analysis by the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), a state-owned company, coarse rice prices have risen by Tk2 per kg in a week.

It has increased by about 5.5% in a month and 14.12% more than last year.