The Financial Express

Spice market heats up ahead of Eid

| Updated: July 18, 2021 15:29:00

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Despite assurances made by the government to keep spice prices under control ahead of Eid, prices of spices including clove, cumin seeds and cardamom, known as 'garam masala', increased by 8.0-10 per cent in a week.

Cardamom prices shot up to Tk 3,400-3,600 per kilogram (kg) at retail level depending on quality while clove to Tk 1,100-1200 a kg on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the wholesalers and retailers have blamed each other for the hike.

Prices of cumin seeds increased to Tk 400-500 a kg based on variety.

However, cinnamon prices remained static at Tk 450-500 a kg in the week.

Prices of two other main cooking ingredients, ginger and garlic, had already increased notably by 40-65 per cent in the last seven days which traders attributed to the rise in import costs.

Local ginger was sold at Tk 150-160 per kg and garlic at Tk 120-140 a kg on Saturday.

Imported Chinese ginger was selling at Tk 200-220 a kg while garlic at Tk 160-180 on the day.

However, prices of onion remained static at Tk 45-55 a kg.

Jillur Rahman, a grocer in the city's Hazaribagh Park area, said prices of both local spices and garam masala have been raised by the wholesalers in the last one and half weeks.

He said prices of cardamom and clove have been increased by Tk 100-150 a kg by the wholesalers in the city's Moulovibazar and Karwan Bazar.

Farid Hossain, a Moulovibazar-based garam masala trader, said prices of cardamom increased only by Tk 40-50 a kg in a week to Tk 2,450-2,700 a kg based on quality.

He said grocers are charging much higher prices from the consumers than that by the wholesalers.

Meanwhile, a senior official of the commerce ministry told the FE that the country's spice traders have already assured the ministry of their cooperation in maintaining the normal supply chain as well as keeping prices of spices under control in the market ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.

"The traders assured us that there are sufficient stocks of such items in the country which could fulfil demands in the coming days", additional Secretary (IIT) of the ministry A H M Shafiquzzaman told the FE on Wednesday.

"The prices of spices would not go up since the government has taken necessary measures to this end like the previous years", he added.

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