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Weekly kitchen market

Fish, potato, veg, spices pricier

FE REPORT | May 26, 2023 00:00:00

Amid skyrocketing prices of vegetables, low-income people hardly afford buying those as much as they require. So, a trader puts on display kitchen items, such as coriander leaf and green chilli, dividing those into small quantities, for sale at a kitchen market in Dhaka's Jurain on Thursday. Each chunk is sold at Tk 10. — FE photo by Shafiqul Alam

Prices of fish, potato, spices and vegetables have posted a further hike in the last seven days, thus amplifying woes of the already-battered commoners.

In line with pricey chickens, egg and beef, the prices of all fish species increased by Tk 20-150 a kg in a week, according to kitchen market sources.

Ginger and cumin seed have risen in price in leaps and bounds in a week as ginger hit Tk 350-500 a kg on Thursday and cumin Tk 900-1,000 in groceries.

Leading local companies started retailing cumin powder at Tk 1,150 a kg.

Brinjal, carrot, tomato, papaya and pointed gourd also witnessed a notable hike during the period in question.

Potato prices exhibited another hike by Tk 5.0 a kg as sold at Tk 40-45 on the day.

Brinjal retailed at Tk 70-90, carrot at Tk 90-120, tomato at Tk 80-90 and green papaya at Tk 70-80 a kg-up by Tk 10-30 a kg.

Green chilli prices remained static at its previous high of Tk 160-200 a kg while onion showed a slight decline on Thursday as retailed at Tk 75-85 against Tk 80-90 two days back.

Prices of both cultured and riverine fish increased exorbitantly last week.

Cultured pangas, tilapia, koi, ruhi, katla, kalbaus, pabda have witnessed a Tk 20-40 hike in price per kg in the last seven days.

Riverine fish showed a maximum of Tk 150 hike per kg, which traders attributed to a two-month fishing ban in the Bay from May 20.

Hilsa supply has since declined notably as bay hilsa comprises 70 per cent of the total supply, said Jalal Uddin, a vendor at Dhanmondi 15 in the capital.

Prices of medium to bigger hilsa have increased to Tk 1,300-1,500 a kg wholesale while those are being traded at Tk 1,500-1,800 by retailers, he added.

He said riverine ruhi (3.0 kg and above) is being traded at Tk 450-650 a kg at Mawa wholesale point depending on its size.

"I have brought only 10 pieces of fish weighing between 3.0 and 4.0 kg following such high rates."

Meanwhile, riverine shrimps were sold at Tk 1,050-1,450 a kg while gher [farmed] shrimps were traded at Tk 700-950 a kg in the market, up by Tk 100-150 a kg.

Nazer Hossain, vice-president of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB), spoke about huge gaps in vegetable prices at farm and retail levels which should be minimised through monitoring.

The department of agricultural marketing (DAM) could act adequately as it has such authority and capacity to monitor the kitchen market, he said.

Mr Hossain suggested that the DAM immediately take some advance measures on potato because of an expectedly lower production this year.

Onion import should be started soon to bring its price down to a rational level while spices like cumin be reviewed by commerce ministry to avert any manipulation, he observed.

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