Pulse, loose palm oil, red chilli, ginger get pricier

FE Report | Friday, 24 January 2020

Prices of more essentials, including loose palm oil, pulse, red chilli, garlic, ginger and cinnamon increased last week, further raising woes of the consumers who had already been suffering for price hike of other necessary items.

The price of cardamom, however, began to decline in the week after reaching an all-time high of Tk 6,200 a kilogram (kg) in the city markets.

Prices of all kinds of lentils rose by Tk 10-15 per kg in the seven days.

Imported coarse lentil was sold at Tk 80-85 a kg, finer lentil of local varieties Tk 120-125 and imported Nepalese varieties at Tk 130-135 a kg on Thursday.

Prices of mung also increased by Tk 10 per kg as sold at Tk 100-140 a kg based on quality.

Gram (chickpea) prices also witnessed a hike by Tk 5.0- 10 a kg as traded at Tk 80-85 a kg in the city retail markets yesterday. Anchor pulse was sold at Tk 45-50 a kg from Tk 40-45 a kg.

Traders said a decline in local production of lentil and mung and a surge in import costs are responsible for the sudden hike.

Shafiqul Islam, a Moulovibazar wholesale-based trader, said import costs of Nepalese lentil went up recently by 10-15 per cent.

He said Nepalese lentil is being imported at Tk 106-108 a kg (US $ 1,200-1,220 per tonne) now.

He said local production has also been witnessing a decline in Dhaka, Faridpur, Jashore, Khulna, Kushtia and Rajshahi regions.

Lentil has now bcome a widely-consumed pulse in Bangladesh.

The country produced 0.18 million tonnes of lentil in 2018-19 financial year (FY '19) against a demand of 0.9 million tonnes.

The rest of the demand is met through imports from Canada, India, Australia and Nepal.

Total pulse production is 0.4 million tonnes in the country against a demand for 1.4 million tonnes, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics and the Ministry of Commerce.

Asked, Mr Islam said mung is mainly imported from India where its price has also increased for crop losses in many states.

Prices of cinnamon increased to Tk 450-480 per kg on Thursday from 380-420 a kg seven days back.

Garlic prices reached Tk 150-180 a kg and ginger Tk 140-160 a kg --- Tk 20 hike in a week.

However, the cost of cardamom showed a downward trend as it was sold at Tk 4,000-4,400 a kg from Tk 5,000-6,200 in the previous week.

Prices of red chilli, one of the main cooking ingredients, hit Tk 420-460 a kg in the past week from Tk 250-280 a kg earlier.

Loose super palm oil, one of the main cooking oils, became contlier by Tk 2.0 per litre as it was traded at Tk 87-90 a litre on the day.

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