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7 December, 2019 12:38:12 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 7 December, 2019 12:13:27 PM

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Commodity prices keep rising

kitchen markets in dhaka
SAUGATO BOSU, Dhaka
Commodity prices keep rising

The prices of vegetables and other essential commodities registered a significant rise in the past one year with onions causing consumers to shed tears as the spice skyrocketed by more than 500 per cent. 

The prices of other commodities such as ginger increased by 27.27 per cent, garlic by 166.67pc, dried chillies by 25pc, lentils by 20pc, beef by 12.5pc, sugar by 14.56pc, and cardamom by 85.92pc in one year from December 8 last year, according to Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) data.

Consumers and local traders say soaring onion prices have affected the prices of other vegetables in the market. The TCB revealed that the prices of local and imported onions, local and imported garlic, ginger, dried chillies, lentils, beef, cardamom, sugar, and eggs have increased compared to the same period last year. Vegetable prices have gone up as well.

Yesterday, cauliflowers and cabbages were sold at Tk. 30–40 apiece, carrots and new potatoes at Tk. 60–70 per kg, and radishes and papayas at Tk. 30–45 per kg. Only country beans have seen a price decrease and are selling for Tk. 25–30 per kg.

Bitter gourds, pointed gourds, snake gourds, and stored potatoes have all witnessed price hikes of Tk. 4–10 per kg. Bitter gourds were selling at Tk. 70–90 per kg and stored potatoes for Tk. 30–32 per kg yesterday. The prices of tomatoes and cucumbers remained static at Tk. 90–130 per kg depending on quality.

The Independent compared the prices of some winter vegetables with the prices from last year, referring to a report dated December 8, 2018.

On December 8 last year, cauliflowers and cabbages were selling for Tk. 15–20 and Tk. 20 apiece, respectively, compared to Tk 30-40 at present. Green chillies went for Tk. 60–80 per kg.

Eggplants were selling at Tk. 30–40 per kg, bitter gourds at Tk. 35–40 per kg, bottle gourds at Tk. 40–50 apiece, okra at Tk. 35 per kg, papayas at Tk. 20–25 per kg, cucumbers at Tk. 50 per kg, and potatoes at Tk. 25–32 per kg. Newly harvested potatoes, however, were retailing at Tk. 40–45 per kg.

Speaking with The Independent, buyers at the kitchen markets yesterday expressed anger over the price hike of vegetables and other essential cooking ingredients.

Sumon Ahmed, a private-sector employee, blamed the price hikes on lax monitoring by the government. “The prices of winter vegetables are too high for common people with limited income. Every year, the prices are moving beyond our reach,” he added.

The supply of early winter vegetables has been increasing, but their prices have not declined. Traders said the prices will fall over the next couple of weeks until the early winter crops fully hit the market.

TCB data showed that onion prices have risen by 518.18 per cent compared to last year. The prices of other commodities like ginger have increased by 27.27 per cent, garlic by 166.67 per cent, dried chillies by 25 per cent, lentils by 20 per cent, beef by 12.5 per cent, sugar by 14.56 per cent, and cardamom by 85.92 per cent in comparison to last year.

The price of onions registered a further 41.67 per cent hike compared to last month. The prices of other commodities have also increased compared to the previous month—garlic prices have gone up by 3.23 per cent and dried chillies by 16 per cent.

TCB data revealed that the price of local onions increased by 623.08 per cent, while that of imported onions rose by 520 per cent in December this year compared to the same period last year. The price of local garlic increased by 240 per cent, while the imported variety saw a price increase of 166.67 per cent.

Onion prices soared to Tk. 100 after September 23 and to Tk. 150 after September 29 following India’s ban on onion exports.

Since then, onion prices have been going up and are now hovering at around Tk. 250 per kg. However, the prices have largely been in the range of Tk. 220–230 per kg.

Yesterday, this correspondent visited different kitchen markets of the city, including Mirpur-2 and Karwan Bazar. It was observed that local onions were being sold at Tk. 230–240 per kg, while the imported variety fetched Tk. 100–210 per kg.

 The commerce ministry has revealed that the domestic demand for onions is 24 lakh metric tonnes every year. So, consumers need around two lakh metric tonnes of onions every month and around 6,666 tonnes each day.

During its visit to the kitchen markets, The Independent found that imported ginger was selling for Tk. 160–170 per kg while locally grown ginger went for Tk. 180–200 per kg. Only last week, ginger had sold in the range of Tk. 60–70. The hike of Tk. 100 per kg has set in within just a few days.

The price of garlic has also increased by Tk. 100–120 per kg over the last couple weeks. Garlic imported from China was retailing at Tk. 140–170 per kg yesterday, while the local variety was selling for Tk. 160–180. The price of cardamom increased by Tk. 200–300 per kg in the last two weeks. The spice was selling at Tk. 2,600–3,000 per kg in the city markets.

IK

 

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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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