Rice, sugar prices spiral up

Prices of rice and sugar have seen an upward trend over the past month.

Rice prices increased by Tk 2-4 a kg in the past month, with coarse and medium-quality rice seeing the highest price hikes in retail markets.

On the other hand, price of packet and loose sugar rose by at least Tk 5 a kg. Traders said a crisis of sugar supply contributed to this price hike.

It has been learned after talking traders and visiting the capital’s kitchen markets in Shajahanpur, Malibagh and Rampura on Thursday that retail price of coarse varieties (Swarna and IRRI) and medium quality (BR28) of rice increased by Tk 3-4 a kg over the past month while price of fine rice (Miniket and Nazirshial) rose by Tk 2-3 a kg.

Currently, coarse varieties of rice is being sold at Tk 52-54 a kg while medium quality of rice at Tk 59-60 a kg, miniket rice at Tk 65-72 a kg while price of nazirshail rice varies from Tk 75 to Tk 95 a kg.

Bangladesh Auto Major Husking Mills Association general secretary HR Khan Pathan told Prothom Alo, though mill owners did not increase the rice price, retail price saw a rise, which is why it is necessary to monitor the rice market.

However, rice production is good this year, and new rice would arrive in market soon. So, rice is unlikely to see further price hike, he added.

The price list of the state-owned Trading Corporation of Bangladesh for Tuesday showed, fine and coarse varieties of rice dropped by 2 per cent and medium quality rice by 3 per cent over the past month.

Meanwhile, retail price of loose and packet sugar increased to Tk 140-145 a kg from Tk 135-140 a kg a week ago, which is higher than the price set by the government.

The government has set prices of loose and packet sugar at Tk 130 and 140 a kg respectively.

Wholesale price of sugar also saw a rise as traders alleged there was low supply of sugar from sugar mills. Retail traders said sugar crisis caused a rise in price

According to retail traders, wholesale price of loose sugar was Tk 137 or higher per kg on Thursday while price of packet sugar was Tk 135-138 a kg, which is higher the price mentioned on the packet, Tk 135 a kg.

Vice president of Bangladesh Sugar Merchants Association Mohammad Ali Bhutto told Prothom Alo, “Prices spiked at wholesale market due to low supply, but there is no fear of any bigger crisis.”

Price of vegetables also dropped over the last week. The price of brown chicken eggs was Tk 135-140 a dozen. The price of Sonali and broiler chickens fell by Tk 10 a kg. Besides, the price of local varieties of onions was at Tk 130-140 a kg and imported onion at Tk 100-110. The price of potatoes dropped slightly to Tk 50-60 a kg, but the price of fish and red meat remain high.

Arman Hossain works for a private firm. He spoke to Prothom Alo at the capital’s Rampura market. He said prices of several products dropped slightly, but not to that level of before.

Rice price rises at the hubs

Rice price increased by Tk 1-2 a kg in one of the country’s largest hub in Naogaon. Farhad Hossain, owner of M/S Chakdar Rice Mill and general secretary of Rice Millers’ Association, said rice price increased by Tk 50-100 per maund.

Price also increased in another largest market centre in Kushtia. Millers from Khajanagar said prices increased due to the crisis of old rice. Harvesting is yet to begin and prices will fall once new rice arrives in the market.

Prothom Alo’s Staff Correspondent, Kushtia and Correspond, Naogaon contributed to this report