Prices of essentials including rice, lentil, flour remain high

Prices of most of the essentials including rice, lentils, flour, coarse flour, sugar and edible oil are still higher despite the drop in the price of fish, red meat and eggs.

Prices of staples and spices like onions, garlic and ginger did not change significantly over the past week. However, prices of winter vegetables remain affordable to customers.

According to Thursday’s price list of state-owned Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), retail price of coarse variety of rice was sold at Tk 50-52 a kg, semi-fine rice at Tk 55-58 a kg and fine rice at Tk 62-75 a kg.

However, fine rice was sold at up to Tk 95 a kg in the local market.

Rice prices saw no significant change over the past week. According to TCB, the price of coarse variety of rice rose by 2 per cent per kg, semi-fine rice by 6 per cent a kg and price of fine rice by 4 per cent a kg over the past month.

Bangladesh Auto Major Husking and Mill Owners’ Association general secretary HR Khan told Prothom Alo that rice production is good, and new rice have started arriving in the market. So, rice price is unlikely to rise further, he added.

Like rice, the price of lentils is still higher. According to TCB, prices of large, medium and finer lentils were at Tk 105-130. Lentil price remained unchanged at local markets for a week, while, according to TCB, price saw no change over the past month.

Prices of flour and coarse flour, according to TCB, are on the rise. Prices of packaged coarse flour increased by 4 per cent to Tk 55-65 a kg over the past week while prices of packaged flour rose by 4 per cent to Tk 70-75 a kg. Price of bottle soybean oil also saw a 1 per cent rise in the past week.

Commodity marketing company TK Group director Shafiul Aathar told Prothom Alo that price of commodities is unlikely to increase further, but rising dollar price causes a rise in import costs. As a result, there is no sign of dropping prices now, he added.

Volatile sugar market

Sugar market also turned volatile, with loose and packet sugar being sold at Tk 140-150 a kg. There is apparently no supply of sugar in the market. The government fixed retail price of loose sugar at Tk 130 a kg and packet sugar at Tk 135 a kg, but traders did not follow it.

Commerce minister Tipu MUnshi said on Wednesday there is no option to decrease sugar price due to rise in dollar price.

Visiting the kitchen markets in the capital’s New Market, Shantinagar, Shajahanpur and Malibagh on Thursday, it was seen that price of mutton, fishes, eggs decreased slightly following fall in price of beef to Tk 600 a kg. White and brown eggs were being sold at Tk 120 or less per dozen, broiler chicken at Tk 120 a kg and sonali chicken at Tk 280-290 a kg.

Fish prices drop

Prices of farm-produced fish decrease due to good supply. Medium-sized farm-produced pangas was sold at Tk 180-200 a kg, farm-produced tilapia at Tk 200-220 a kg while rui fish was sold at Tk 300-400 a kg.

Prices of onion, garlic and ginger remained more or less unchanged. Local varieties and imported onions were being sold at Tk 100-120 a kg. Meanwhile, locally produced onions started arriving in the market.

A customer, Selim Uddin told Prothom Alo at Shajahanpur kitchen market that prices of everything is high now, but it feels better when prices of some products drop slightly. However, prices of red meat and fishes did not fall that much, he observed.