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Chicken, vegs, sugar get dearer in city markets

The fresh spell of price surge blamed on cyclone Sitrang

FE REPORT | October 29, 2022 00:00:00

A vendor selling vegetables in his shop at a kitchen market in Motijheel area of the city on Friday. The prices of all types of vegetables witnessed a further hike this week, burning a hole in the consumers' pockets — FE photo

Retail prices of chickens, vegetables, sugar and flour increased in the city's markets in the last couple of days, causing further troubles for the commoners.

Traders attributed the fresh spell of hike in prices of the commodities to, among others, supply chain disruption caused by Cyclone Sitrang that wreaked havoc across the country.

Amid such an unstable market situation with most of the commodities, price of loose sugar increased to Tk110 from Tk 90 a week ago, while most of the traders stopped selling the sweetener.

Prices of other essentials, including soybean oil, egg, onion, lentils, and meat maintained their previous highs, according to kitchen market sources.

Fayez Ali, a trader at Kawran Bazar, said on Friday prices of all types of chicken increased by Tk10 per kilogram, compared to the last week.

Broiler was selling at Tk 190 per kg, Sonali at Tk320 each kg and the local variety of chicken at Tk500, he said.

"The incessant shower for the two days due to the cyclone Sitrang on Monday and Tuesday resulted in supply chain debacle," said Mr Ali.

Sources said the chicken price is likely to increase further as the hatcheries have increased the price of one-day old chick to Tk40 from Tk25 each. In addition, poultry feed price is also showing an upward trend. Egg price remained stable at Tk140-145 per dozen.

Prices of the most varieties of rice also remained unchanged as miniket was selling at Tk 73-75 per kg, Nazirshail at Tk83-91, the coarse variety ones at Tk48-55 per kg and the loose pillow rice was available at Tk130-135 each kg.

The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) recorded nearly three per cent decrease in coarse rice price in a week while the current price is above 5.0 per cent higher than that of a year ago.

The fresh uptrend in price of sugar is becoming a concern for consumers since its price is increasing in one hand, on the other hand many traders have stopped selling the essential.

Mizanur Rahman Bablu, a trader in Kawran Bazar, said, "I've stopped selling the item as the government with its imprudent move has left no scope for us to trade."

He had to face a financial penalty several days ago because of selling sugar at Tk106 per kg with a minimum profit margin, whereas the government fixed the price at Tk90, he said.

"As we had to buy the item from millers at Tk104 per kg, how can I incur loss of Tk14 per kg?" he questioned.

Meanwhile, per kg loose flour (Atta) was selling at Tk55-58, packed Atta at Tk 58-62, loose flour (Maida) at Tk65-68, and packed maida at Tk 72-75.

Prices of most of the vegetables increased despite the expectation that supply of winter vegetables would help cool off the volatile market situation to some extent.

Brinjal was selling at Tk70-80 per kg, cucumber at Tk 60-70, bean at Tk80 and cauliflower and cabbage were available at Tk50-70 per kg depending on their sizes and varieties.

Potato was selling at Tk 30-40 each kg, local-variety onion at Tk55-60, local garlic at

Tk40-45 and imported garlic at Tk135-145 per kg.

Talking to the FE, a private service holder, Mujahidul Islam, said it appears that there is no one to monitor and control the unusual market situation stemming from the price escalation.

"I have to borrow money often from close ones to maintain my family due to price increase," he said.

There are plenty of excuses for traders to raise the prices, but consumers have nothing to do at all, he added.

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