Brinjal prices increased by Tk 20-40 per kg overnight as sold at Tk 80-100 a kg on Tuesday in the month of Ramadan.
The wholesale and retail prices of the vegetable in the city are much higher than the government-fixed prices, sources said, adding traders are blaming each other for the price hike.
The prices of long brinjal increased by Tk 30 a kg on average as sold at Tk 80-100 per kg on Tuesday.
Besides, the prices of round brinjal rose by Tk 20 per kg as sold at Tk 80-90 a kg yesterday.
Md Jillur, a vegetable retailer at Rayer Bazar in the capital, said he bought quality long brinjals at Tk 75 per kg from Sadeq Khan wholesale market.
He was selling the variety at Tk 85-90 a kg.
Abul Bashar, a wholesaler at Sadeq Khan Market, said brinjal prices increased substantially in Narsinghdi, Jamalpur, Cumilla and Bogura on Monday.
“Brinjal prices increased to Tk 60-62 a kg from Tk 40-45 a kg within a day”, he said.
Bashar was selling brinjal at Tk 66-68 a kg based on quality.
The retailers are charging much higher prices as consumers are buying the vegetable in large quantities due to Ramadan and a seven-day strict lockdown, both of which began yesterday.
Bashar hoped prices may go down within a few days.
T M Rashed Khan, assistant director of Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM), said demand for brinjal increases significantly during Ramadan as beguni (fried brinjal) is a staple food in Iftar.
He said the prices of the vegetable increased in the growing hubs by Tk 8-10 a kg, impacting its prices in the kitchen markets.
“DAM set brinjal prices Tk 50-60 and Tk 63-75 per kg at the wholesale and retail level, respectively”.
But the prices are much higher in the kitchen markets as some unscrupulous traders are making profits banking on consumer rush, he added.
He said there is no reason for such a sharp rise in brinjal prices as the collection of the vegetable has begun in full swing.
Bangladesh produces 0.45 million tonnes of brinjal every year which is 20 per cent more than the national demand, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.