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Price hike of egg and onion adds to consumers' woes

Traders fixing prices of commodities as they wish, experts complain


FE Report | Published: September 20, 2019 10:58:24 | Updated: September 22, 2019 17:47:56


The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) recorded a 9-14 per cent hike in egg prices during last week — File photo

Apart from onion, prices of eggs also witnessed a notable surge last week raising woes of the consumers.

Prices of farm eggs, a key protein source for the commoners, was sold at Tk 110 to Tk 112 each dozen---Tk 10-Tk 14 hike in a week.

The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) recorded a 9-14 per cent hike in egg prices during the period.

Meanwhile, onion prices increased by 35-40 per cent to Tk 65-Tk 80 a kg in seven days, according to market sources.

Prices of ginger and garlic, another two spices, also increased by Tk 10-20 a kg. Imported ginger was sold at Tk 160-Tk 190 and imported garlic at Tk 160 to Tk 180 a kg at retail markets on Thursday.

However, egg prices, which remained static for four weeks, started rising again.

Ariful Islam, a grocer at Lalmatia of Mohammadpur in the capital, said agents sold eggs to them at Tk 880 per 100 pieces yesterday (Thursday) which was Tk 790 a week back.

Asked, he said agents of big traders of Tejgaon and Moulovibazar of the capital supply the item directly to the groceries.

Md Rashid Uddin, a wholesaler at Tejgaon, said prices of eggs increased at farm level at Sirajganj, Pabna, Savar, Dhamrai, Keraniganj and Cumilla notably in last one and half weeks.

He said they were sourcing eggs at Tk 7.5 (white)-Tk 8.0 (red) a piece from Tk 6.5-Tk 6.80 earlier.

Md Helal Uddin, owner of Helal Poultry Farm at Atgharia in Pabna, told the FE over cell-phone that prices of eggs increased only by Tk 0.30 (white)-Tk 0.5 (red) a piece in last two weeks by the farmers.

He said this tiny hike occurred amid rising feed cost.

He said per kg of poultry feed has increased to Tk 38-42 a kg now from Tk 35-36 a kg.

"We are selling eggs at Tk 5.5 to Tk 5.8 a piece now--- almost at our production cost," he said.

He said traders in Dhaka and their agents in Pabna are eating up all benefits.

Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) Secretary Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan said hike in farm egg and cultured fish directly affect the low income groups.

He said there is no visible and effective monitoring in the kitchen markets now. "Traders are fixing prices of commodities like onions and eggs as they wish," he said.

He said above 8.0 million pieces of eggs are traded every day in Dhaka of which Tejgaon comprises more than 6.0 million pieces.

The wholesales of Tejgaon, Karwan Bazar and Mouloviazar in the capital should be brought under scrutiny to prevent any artificial hike of egg prices, he said.

However, prices of broiler chicken also increased by Tk 5-10 a kg and was sold at Tk 140-Tk 150 a kg on Thursday.

tonmoy.wardad@gmail.com

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