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Early winter potatoes hit market, but too pricey

Onion, ginger prices decline


FE Report | Friday, 9 November 2018



Early variety of potatoes started arriving in the market this week, but the prices of the produce are too high.
Traders claimed that most of the early potatoes available in the market are imported from India and they are devoid of traditional taste.
Among other produce, onion and ginger saw a slight decline in prices while the prices of most other essentials remained unchanged.
Stored potatoes (diamond), meanwhile, were still selling at previous week's rate -- Tk 25-Tk 30 a kg -- in different kitchen markets.
However, the current price of stored potato is 15.5 per cent higher, compared to the last year, according to the data from the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).
On Thursday, newly arrived potato of granola variety was selling at Tk 110-Tk 150 a kg in different retail markets.
The wholesalers were trading the new potatoes at Tk 90-Tk 110 a kg at Karwan Bazar, Shyambazar, Jatrabari and Rayerbazar-Beribadh.
Md Halim Ali, a wholesaler at Sadeq Khan Krishi Market at Rayerbazar-Beribadh, said he bought 100 kg of potato at the rate of Tk 90 a kg from an importer at Shyambazar.
"And I'm selling it at Tk 100-Tk 110 a kg to retailers," he added.
He claimed that the Indian variety of potato is being sold as local potato of early variety in the market.
It would take another seven days to get the supply of new potato from Rangpur region, he said.
Md Atiqul Islam, a vendor at Katasur, Mohammadpur, said his customers do not like these early potatoes as they taste different.
They are sweeter than the local variety, he said quoting customers.
He also pointed out that prices of stored potato were still higher than it should be at a time when cold storages were struggling with the surplus produce.
Contacted, Shyambazar-based vegetable and spice importer, Narayan Chandra Saha told the FE that many spice importers were bringing in potatoes along with chilli and onion.
Import of potatoes will stop after local potatoes hit the market within a few days, he said.
Meanwhile, prices of local onion declined by Tk 4.0-Tk 5.0 a kg in the last seven days. It is now selling at Tk 40-Tk 50 a kg while imported onion at Tk 28-Tk 36 a kg, with no changes in prices.
Ginger was selling at Tk 140-Tk 170 a kg on Thursday, registering a decline of Tk 10-Tk 20 a kg.

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