Market unstable with rising commodity prices

Golam Mowla
Published : 00:00, Jan 27, 2020 | Updated : 00:00, Jan 27, 2020

A general view of a grocery shop at a Dhaka market. NASHIRUL ISLAM/File PhotoThe market is unstable with the rising prices of the commodities. Over the last one month, prices of rice, lentils, edible oil, onions, garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and dried red chilly have gone up significantly.
According to traders, the steep prices are due to commodities becoming more expensive in the wholesale market.
Prices have rice have gone up by Tk 7 per kilograms. Fine grain rice is selling for Tk 52-53 per kilograms which was Tk 45 last month. Miniket and Najir rice was is going for Tk 53-54 although it was Tk 45 only last month.
“The season for Miniket rice is almost at the end. New paddy will grow in April. Prices are unlikely to go down before that,” said Ahmed Ali, a rice trader at Kawran Bazar kitchen market.
Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) statistics say that Miniket and Najir rice prices went up by 11.58 percent and fine grain rice went up seven percent.
Traders are currently selling each 50 kilogram rice sack for Tk 2,350 which was Tk 2,150 last month.
Meanwhile, prices of lentils, a staple food in the Bangladeshi household, have gone up by at least Tk 10 per kilograms; a 17.39 percent rise from last month. Consumers now have to buy lentils for Tk 65 which was Tk 55 in December.
Prices of flour went up nearly 16 percent going from Tk 35 per kilogram to Tk 45. Sugar prices have gone up by Tk 10-12 with each kilo selling for Tk 65 to 67 which was Tk 55 last month.
The price of edible oil has also gone up by Tk 20 in phases from November last year. Last month five-litre bottle soybean oil was Tk 500 which is now being sold for Tk 520. Palm oil prices have gone up from Tk 79 to 90.
Among all the commodities, onion prices skyrocketed going up over 340 percent. An export ban from India led to the kitchen staple being sold at Tk 250.
Even now people are paying Tk 120 for per kilogram although last year during this time onion price was Tk 20.
Garlic prices have also gone up by Tk 20 with each kilogram selling for Tk 200 instead of Tk 180. The imported variety is now going for Tk 130-150 per kilo. In a span of one year, prices went up by 183 percent.
Red chilly prices went up by Tk 30. Last month each kilogram sold for Tk 200-320. Cinnamon prices also went up by Tk 20 with each kilo going for Tk 420.
According to the TCB, prices of cardamom went up by 35.29 percent with a price hike of Tk 1400 per kilogram. Each kilogram now costs Tk 5,000 which was 3,600 last December.
Each kilogram of ginger is selling for Tk 110-150, a 22 percent rise in the last one year.
It’s not only commodities that are becoming more expensive by the day. The vegetable market is unstable as well with each kilo of tomatoes going for Tk 40-60, potatoes Tk 25-30 and turnips Tk 30-40. Cauliflowers and cabbages are going for Tk 30-35 per piece.
Private research organisation Centre for Policy Dialogue Director Khandaker Golam Moazzem said that the increasing prices will inevitably affect the living standards of the people negatively.
Consumer Association of Bangladesh data says that in the last two years living costs in the country has gone up by 12 percent.