Consumers continue to feel the heat as the prices of wheat flour and sugar have gone up in the kitchen markets, making the list of dearer commodities, including rice, even longer.
In the span of a week, the price of sugar increased by Tk5-7 to Tk90-95 per kg and the price of loose wheat flour increased by Tk3-5 to Tk50-55 per kg. The price of rice went up by Tk200-350 per 50kg sack.
According to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) data, prices of rice, wheat flour, flour, soybean oil, lentils, dry chillies, sugar, and packaged salt have increased by up to 25% in the last month.
The market price, however, is higher than TCB's estimate.
In the markets and groceries of Karwan Bazar, Moghbazar, Hatirpool, and Eskaton, prices of all commodity items have increased over the last week, except for eggs and poultry.
Ali Hossain, a salesperson at Yasin General Store in Karwan Bazar, said, "Within a week, the price of rice has increased by Tk200-350 per sack. I bought the 50kg bag of Miniket variety rice wholesale last week for Tk3,250, which has increased to Tk3,500 this week. BR-28 rice was Tk2,550, now it costs Tk2,800."
Abu Raihan, the owner of M/S Matlab Traders in Karwan Bazar, said that the rice market remains uncontrolled mostly because the corporate companies are trading rice now. By releasing packaged rice to the market, they are profiting from Tk10-30 per kg.
Mohammad Russell, who came to Karwan Bazar from the Nakhalpara area of the capital to buy products at low prices, said, "A year ago, lentils used to cost Tk70 per kg, now I bought that same lentil for Tk135. Our income has not increased by that much. A year ago, a family of 4 spent Tk10,000 on food, now it costs Tk15,000."
Russell, a private employee, told The Business Standard, "In 2013 when I got a salary of Tk30,000, I could save Tk10,000 every month. Now I am getting a salary of Tk50,000 but I am not able to save a penny."
The prices of eggs and broiler chiken remain stable in the market. On Friday, eggs were selling for Tk120-130 per dozen in different markets. After skyrocketing for a week, the price has fallen by Tk20-30 in a span of 10 days.
Broiler chickens are selling for Tk175-180 a kg. Two weeks ago, the price of broiler chicken went up to Tk200 a kg.
The price of green chillies has also fallen by Tk10 per kg compared to last week as imports from India increased. It was selling for Tk40-50 per kg in Karwan Bazar but the price is Tk80 per kg in Moghbazar. A month ago, the price of green chillies was Tk200 per kg.
The price of vegetables has dropped by Tk5-10 per kg in a week. Most of the vegetables are available in the market for Tk40-50 per kg.
Sugar price up by Tk7 at Khatunganj wholesale market
The price of sugar has increased in Khatunganj, the largest wholesale market in Chattogram.
Importers and traders said that the price of raw sugar in the global market has increased due to reduced production, drought in sugar-producing countries and various countries restricting the export of their own products.
Besides, the price of the product has increased in the domestic market due to the price increase in the US dollar and the increase in regulatory duty from 20% to 30%.
In Khatunganj, per mound (37.32 kg) of sugar is selling for Tk3,500, which was Tk2,700 a month ago.
Traders said the price of the product may further increase as the supply is less than the demand.
Nurul Alam, the owner of Khatunganj's sugar importing company M/s A Zaman & Brothers, said, "Brazil is the world's leading sugar producer and exporter. Their production has dropped significantly recently and the country imposed some restrictions on exports."
According to Chittagong Customs House, only 17 lakh tonnes of sugar were imported through the port in the last financial year as compared to the 2020-21 fiscal's 21 lakh tonnes. The main private refinery mills of the country are facing a supply crisis.