Vegetables remain pricey, though its a peak season

Generally, a variety of vegetables hits the market in the winter season and the prices remain relatively lower. Contrary to the trend, vegetable prices have been high even in the second week of January. The price chart is still maintaining an upward trend, instead of falling down.

It was learnt through visits to the Moghbazar, Malibagh, and Rampura markets and conversations with concerned individuals on Thursday that potatoes were selling at Tk 60 to 70 per kg, while brinjals at Tk 100 to 120 per kg. Each large-sized bottle gourd was selling at Tk 100, with scopes of price negotiation by around Tk 10 in some cases.

Tomatoes were selling at Tk 60 to 90 per kg and beans at Tk 70 to 90 per kg.

The traders were charging Tk 50 to 60 for each medium-sized cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli. Only radish, turnip, and papaya were found within the price range of Tk 50 per kg.

Bitter gourd was selling at Tk 90 to 100 per kg, green chili around Tk 100, and other summer vegetables like ridge gourd and sponge gourd between Tk 80 to Tk 90 per kg. The price of local onions remains at Tk 80 to 100 per kg.

The vegetables prices have been high throughout the winter season. Some traders claimed that the higher price of potatoes is affecting the prices of other vegetables.

Since potatoes are a staple for most households, sellers do not reduce the prices of other vegetables when potatoes remain expensive in the market. 

Imran Master, president of Bangladesh Raw Material Wholesaler Owners Association, claimed vegetable prices have been high since the beginning due to high farming costs. The prices are not coming down due to inadequate supply.

He, however, underscored the need for monitoring if anyone is taking advantage of the market, saying that the vegetables market is behaving in an unusual way this season.

Meanwhile, essentials like rice, pulses, and oil have been stuck at high prices. Gram prices have already risen to some extent ahead of the holy Ramadan, likely to begin in the second week of March. Spices, flour, and wheat have also registered price hikes within a month. The sugar market remains unchanged, with both open and packed sugar being sold at Tk 145 to 150 per kg.

Mohiuddin Ahmed, proprietor of Mohiuddin Store in Rampura Bazar, said prices of pulses and grams have risen long before Ramadan, while the sugar market has seen no change for a long time. The prices of other commodities are not increasing and there is no decrease either.

In addition to vegetables, prices of fish, meat, and eggs have also been high in the market. The price of broiler chicken is Tk 190 to Tk 200 per kg, Sonali chicken is Tk 310 to Tk 330 per kg, beef is Tk 650 to 700 per kg, and mutton is being sold at Tk 1,000-1,100 per kg. 

The price of tilapia and pangas ranges between Tk 200 to 230 per kg, depending on size. The price of brown eggs per dozen is Tk 125 to 130.

Nuruzzaman, a resident of Madhubagh in the capital, told Prothom Alo, "The price of winter vegetables remains high in the beginning but drops quickly afterward. It did not happen this time. It's surprising. Perhaps we have become accustomed to buying at higher prices, and traders are not reducing prices for this.”