Rice prices go up after cyclone 'Bulbul'

Shafiqul Islam
Published : 23:59, Nov 13, 2019 | Updated : 00:29, Nov 14, 2019

Fallen trees block road after cyclone Bulbul in Mongla, Bagerhat on Sunday, November 10, 2019 PHOTO/Syed Zakir HossainFor some inexplicable reason, the price of rice has seen a sudden surge; government policy makers feel that the country has adequate reserves of rice so there’s no rational reason for the price rise. In the market, each variety of rice has seen an increase of Tk 2 to Tk 5. Businessmen say that prices went up because supply was low. Once the supply becomes normal, the price will fall.
However, buyers say that the government does not monitor the market and traders raise the price as per their wish.
From Nov 7 till Nov 9, northern part of the country experienced adverse weather which prevented rice trucks from coming and, taking this chance, whole sale traders raised the price, which has had an impact on the whole country.
A trader said: “On Nov 8 morning, a whole seller told me over phone that due to heavy rain and wind, trucks are not coming from Natore and therefore, rice supply to the market has fallen, and so, for every mound of rice, the rate would be Tk 200 to Tk 300 more.”
General Secretary of Bangladesh Husking Mill Owners Association, Layek Ali, said: “Due to cyclone Bulbul, rice trucks were not sent to the capital but that cannot have any impact on the rice condition of the market at all because markets always have 8-10 days reserve.”
A paddy field after cyclone Bulbul lashed out Sunday, November 10, 2019The government wanted the price to rise, he alleged. 'Earlier, we bought rice for Tk 15 per kg and since the government wants to buy at Tk 26 per kg, we are having to buy for Tk. 20 to Tk. 22 per kg,' he observed.
Meanwhile, food minister Sadhan Chandra Mazumdar, said: 'The reserve of government food grain has to be satisfactory at all levels and for rice import, the finance ministry has been advised to raise tax.”
Till October this year, the government reserve stands at: 1.65 metric tonnes. Of this, rice reserve is 1.28 million tonnes and wheat 370,000 tonnes.