Prices of garlic have surged in the city's kitchen markets this week, compounding woes of the consumers further.
Winter crops also started arriving in the market in a larger quantity, but the prices are too high.
Imported garlic (Chinese) was selling at Tk 70-Tk 100 a kg on the retail market on Thursday, up from Tk 50-Tk 70 seven days ago.
Local variety of garlic was selling at Tk 50-Tk 70 a kg, registering a hike of Tk 15 in a week.
According to the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) data, the garlic prices have jumped by 15 to 20 per cent in a week.
Fahim Hossain, a grocer at Zafrabad, Rayer Bazar in the city, said wholesale markets at Shyambazar, Karwan Bazar and Moulavibazar saw the garlic prices rising by Tk 12-Tk 16 a kg in the last five days.
He bought local garlic at Tk 1800 a maund (37.32 kg) at Shyambazar on Wednesday evening, up from Tk 1550-Tk1600 few days back.
Belal Hossain, a spice wholesaler at Mohammadpur Krishi Market, said importers raised the price by Tk 5.0 to Tk 6.0 a kg in the last one and half weeks.
Narayan Chandra Saha, a Shyambazar-based importer in the city, said the prices have increased by Tk 4-Tk 5 a kg in the last ten days following normal market trend.
He said, "The import cost increased by US $70-$80 a tonne. Last month, we brought garlic at $600-$620 a tonne."
He also pointed out that a notable price gap between wholesale and retail markets have been depriving consumers of fair price.
He said imported garlic was selling at Tk 56-Tk 58 a kg at Shyambazar, but the prices range between Tk 80 and Tk 100 a kg on the retail market.
Local garlic was sold at Tk 38-Tk 45 a kg at the wholesale level but being traded at Tk 50-Tk 70 a kg at retail markets.
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) and the Ministry of Commerce, local production of garlic was 0.35 million tonnes in the last financial year (2017-18) against a demand for 0.65 million tonnes.
The demand was met through import from China and India.
Meanwhile, winter vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, carrot, long bean, local bean and spinach hit the market in a large volume last week.
Small-sized cauliflower and cabbage was sold at Tk 50-Tk 60 per piece.Newly arrived spinach was selling at Tk 16-Tk 25 a bunch in different kitchen markets on Thursday.
Also, fish prices increased further this week.
Traders attributed the price hike to the ongoing fishing ban in 31 districts under the government's Hilsa conservation programme.
The ban that started on October 7 will continue up to October 28.
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