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24 August, 2019 08:40:31 AM

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Onion and sugar prices spurt in kitchen markets

Hilsa still costly despite good supplies
STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka
Onion and sugar prices spurt in kitchen markets
A customer buys vegetables at Kaptan Bazar in the capital yesterday. Focus Bangla Photo

Even though the supply and production of hilsa are currently good, the price of the fish variety has not come down to the expected level in the capital’s kitchen markets.

However, the prices of onion and sugar further rose last week, causing the woes of the consumers to increase, especially the middle-income people.

Traders claimed that the high demand for the fish has made it pricier. They, however, added that hilsa prices were relatively lower than in other times.

Hence, with increasing demand, the vendors have been forced to hike the prices of hilsa per kilogram.

According to the department of fisheries, the country requires 0.4 million tonnes of the national fish (hilsa) annually. Earlier, the government imposed a ban on fishing in the Bay of Bengal and major sanctuaries, aiming to protect its sea habitat.

In the capital’s kitchen markets, including Mirpur-2 and Karwanbazar, this correspondent found that the price of hilsa weighing between 400 and 500 grams is between Tk 550 and Tk 600. Traders said hilsa that weighs around 800 to 900 grams was being sold for Tk 900 to Tk 1,000. The price of a hilsa weighing 1 kg costs around Tk 1,200.  A medium-sized hilsa was being sold for Tk 550–Tk 900 last week.

However, sources at Barishal, Barguna, Patuakhali, Chandpur, Chattogram and Cox's Bazar said fishermen were getting enough hilsa, both in the rivers and the Bay.

In the meantime, fishermen are happy over a good haul of hilsa fish in the Padma and Meghna in Laxmipur and Chandpur.

On the other hand, the prices of onion, one of the main cooking ingredients, further increased last week, as the local varieties were sold for Tk 55–65. Imported ones sold for Tk 50–55 per kg on Thursday, a 29–42 per cent hike in a week, according to the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).

Moinul Ahmed, a wholesaler in Karwan Bazar, said the increase in the price of Indian onions was caused by rising prices in India. But the supply of domestic onions has increased.

In India, the price of onions has increased by Rs 10–12 and now stands at Rs 50 a kg. Owing to heavy rain and floods in Maharashtra and other Indian states, Indian wholesale markets are currently closed, traders said.

According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), the country produces about 18 lakh tonnes of onions annually. In addition, 8 to 10 lakh tonnes are imported, mostly from India, every year.

Sugar prices also showed an upward trend last week. Sugar prices witnessed a Tk 2–4 hike per kg during the period. It was sold at Tk 56–65 a kg on the day.

The prices of summer vegetables and some spices also increased compared to last week. Prices of eggs have gone up sharply in the kitchen markets. The item was selling at Tk 35–38 a ‘hali’. A dozen eggs are now being sold at Tk 95 to Tk 100 against the rate of Tk 80 to Tk 85. Broiler chickens were sold for Tk 130–135 a kg. The price of red cockerels was Tk 200–210 a kg.

The prices of radish and chili remained unchanged. Chilies were sold for Tk 100–160 per kg and pointed gourds for Tk 50–60 yesterday. Gourds were sold for Tk 35–40 per piece while pumpkins were also sold at the same price.

Tomatoes were sold for Tk 100–120 a kg, eggplants for Tk 60–80, bitter gourds for Tk 70–80, cucumbers for Tk 80–100, ridge gourds for Tk 80 and okra for Tk 60.

Ginger was selling for Tk 140–180 per kg. The imported variety of garlic became pricier by Tk. 20 a kg. The price of local garlic went up to Tk 130–150 a kg from Tk 100–120 a couple of weeks back.

Data provided by the TCB showed a 20 to 36 per cent hike in the garlic price and 20 per cent in the ginger price in a single week. The price of soybean oil increased from Tk 80 to Tk 90 per litre, while the price of palm oil rose from Tk 70 to Tk 75.

BK

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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