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Commodity prices up on strike

FE Report | October 30, 2018 00:00:00

Prices of essentials saw a sharp rise in the cities on Monday, the last day of a 48-hour transport strike that disrupted supply chain of goods.

The Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation-enforced strike, which began at 6:00 am on Sunday, ended at six o'clock this morning.

Traders said goods transportation remained halted, putting them in a tight spot to maintain supply chain of commodities.

According to the Department of Agricultural Marketing, prices of most items, including vegetable, meat, fish, chilli, ginger and potato rose up to 200 per cent.

Green chilli sold at Tk 180-Tk 220 a kilogram (kg), a Tk 80-100 rise at retail level in a day.

Meanwhile, prices of leafy vegetables shot up almost 200 per cent to Tk 20 to 30 a bunch.

Local bean retailed at Tk 180-200 per kg, which was Tk 80 to 100 even a day earlier.

Pointed gourd and brinjal sold at Tk 60-70 per kg, showing a Tk 20-30 surge in the prices.

Even papaya retailed at Tk 35-40 a kg, which was Tk 18-20 before the strike began, according to vendors.

Meanwhile, ginger sold at Tk 180-210 per kg, marking a Tk 20 hike in its prices.

Trader Hafizur Rahman at Karwanbazar wholesale market in the capital told the FE that no vegetable-laden trucks entered the market on Monday.

It is the peak season of vegetables, but traders could not source items amid the ongoing strike, he added.

Visiting Mohammadpur Krishi Market, the FE corresponded found that only two wholesalers could bring some vegetables from Keraniganj by pedalled vans.

But more than 60 retailers jumped on the goods to source their required amount.

Belal Hossain, a trader at the market, said he could bring some vegetables, gourds and brinjal from Chandipur, Keraniganj.

He bought spinach, red amaranth and greens at Tk 10-Tk 16 a bunch, which was only Tk 3.0-8.0 on Saturday.

Mr Hossain said van fare also increased twice on the day as it cost him Tk 550 to bring the produce.

Hannan Mia, proprietor of M/S New Banijjalaya at South Jatrabari, said spices like chilli and ginger shot up in prices for short supply caused by strike.

Not a single truck entered Jatrabari till Monday noon, he told the FE.

Spice haulage from hill districts, Rangpur and other regions almost halted, hiking prices, he said.

Mr Mia said commodity prices might rise further on Tuesday morning if goods trucks fail to enter the city.

However, the prices of cultured fish like rui, katla, pangas and koi showed a Tk 20-40 hike on Monday compared to that of Sunday.

Cultured rui sold at Tk 220-280 based on size, koi at Tk 180-230 a kg the same day.

Riverine fish also witnessed a substantial hike amid supply shortages.

Shrimp, tengra, pabda, shoal, taki, indigenous rui and katla also posted a rise by Tk 60-100 a kg on the day.

Tengra was sold at Tk 450-550, shoal at Tk 500-650 and pabda at Tk 500-750 a kg.

Prices of broiler chicken increased by Tk 10 a kg to Tk 140-150 the same day.

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