Prices of some major vegetables including green chilli, broiler chicken have witnessed a hike in Dhaka's kitchen markets on Friday compared to Thursday’s prices, augmenting the woes of consumers further.
Meanwhile, prices of sugar, edible oil, and other essentials have not changed.
The prices of cucumber, bean, green chilli, bitter gourd, brinjal, ladies finger, potato, pointed gourd, broiler chicken, and imported Burmese onion saw a hike ranging from Tk 30 to Tk 2.0.
On the other hand, the price of mature tomatoes declined by Tk 10 per kg.
The state-run Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM), in its daily report on Friday, stated that the prices of green chilli, beef, egg, salt (packed), local sugar(local), lentil, onion(local), and flour (packed) are Tk 115-Tk 127 per kg, Tk 553-Tk 573 per kg, Tk 35-Tk 36 (four pieces), Tk 27-Tk 32 per kg, Tk 80-Tk 81 per kg, Tk 106-Tk 112 per kg, Tk 56-Tk 59 per kg and Tk 36-Tk 38 per kg respectively.
Apart from this, DAM also reported that the prices of tomatoes (mature) stand at Tk 115-Tk 126, broiler chicken at Tk 162-168 a kg, 1.0 litre soybean oil at Tk 140-Tk 142, garlic (local) at Tk 52-Tk 61, garlic (imported) at Tk 113-Tk 120, ginger (local) at Tk 91-Tk 106 and ginger (imported) at Tk 102- Tk114.
After visiting some city kitchen markets, this correspondent, however, found that prices of onion, ginger, garlic, Sonali and Pakistani chicken, egg, and other different essential spices were seen stable compared to the last couple of days.
A vegetable vendor Kabir at Mohammadpur Krishi Market told The Financial Express that prices of some vegetables like cucumber, green chili, bitter gourd, brinjal, ladies finger, potato, and pointed gourd went up to Tk 30 to Tk 5.0 per kg on Friday compared to Thursday’s prices.
He bought cucumber at Tk 60 per kg on Friday whereas the price of the item was Tk 30 on Thursday, Kabir said, adding that he was retailing cucumber Tk 70 per kg.
The veg vendor bought green chilli at Tk 105 each kg at wholesale price on Friday and was selling at Tk 140 each kg at retail price whereas the wholesale price of the item stood at Tk 85 per kg on Thursday.
The wholesale price of bitter gourd was Tk 50 per kg yesterday whereas it was Tk 60 per kg today, he said, adding that prices of brinjal, ladies finger, potato, and pointed gourd also increased ranging from Tk 2.0 to Tk 10 per kg in wholesale prices.
When talking to this correspondent, Kabir said he was selling tomatoes at Tk 140-Tk 150 per kg at retail price and snake gourd at Tk 50-60.
He bought beans at Tk 400 per five kg at wholesale price on Thursday but he had to buy beans at Tk 450 per five kg today.
The vendor was retailing beans at Tk 100 per kg on the day.
Some other vegetable vendors at Adabor, Mohammadpur Krishi Market along with some mobile vendors also echoed the same price level.
Both the traders and vendors blamed flood situations in different parts of the country along with the Covid-19 for the soaring prices.
They pointed out that, supply constraints and spiraling prices in the international commodity market have also triggered the unstable situation in the local market.
They also believe that there was likely a vested group, who are manipulating the prices of essentials, taking advantage and creating artificial crises in the market.
The activities to sell rice, pulses, edible oil, and sugar at regulated prices to tame the market have also been quite limited compared to the people’s needs.
Recently, in front of the government's mobile sales centres- which sell rice and daily necessities- the queues have reportedly been longer.
Akash, a wholesaler, said the prices of onion are ranging between Tk 42-Tk 65 in the wholesale market while ginger (imported) and local garlic are Tk 120 and Tk 50 respectively.
The prices of three important spices remained more static since the last couple of days, he added.
Rasel, a salesman at New Bismillah Broiler at Mohammadpur Krishi Market, told The FE that he was selling broiler chicken at Tk 190-Tk 195 a kg on the day whereas he was selling at Tk 180-Tk 185 per kg on Thursday.
Sonali and Pakistani chicken were sold at Tk 300-310 per kg on Tuesday, he said, adding that a dozen of red eggs were sold at Tk 110.
Jabayer Hossain, a proprietor at Bikrampur Trading Corporation at Mohammadpur Krishi Market, said that sugar (loose) was being sold at Tk 80-85 per kg.
Prices of other important spices, edible oil, pulses, flour, and potatoes remained unchanged, he added.
However, the government fixed maximum retail prices of the sweetener at Tk 74-75 a kg on September 9.
The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) is yet to conduct a nationwide survey on the poverty situation during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The SANEM, a non-government organisation, said the poverty rate has almost doubled (42 per cent), a finding which has been rejected by the government.
The BBS reported in a telephone survey in October last year that people's incomes had fallen by as much as 20 per cent.