Prices of garlic, onion, ginger, cardamom rising
Now the spice market has started to feel the pinch of coronavirus outbreak in China, on which Bangladesh depends heavily for many cooking ingredients.
On Saturday, per kg local variety of garlic retailed for Tk160 to Tk165 while garlic imported from china sold for Tk200 to Tk220 per kg at Malibagh, Shantinagar and Shukrabad kitchen markets. The prices rose by as high as Tk30 to Tk40 in the last two days.
Not only garlic, the prices of ginger, cardamom and onion have been rising for the past several days.
On the day, per kg local ginger retailed for Tk180 to Tk200, which was earlier Tk160 to Tk170. Ginger imported from China sold for Tk170 to Tk180 per kg in Dhaka’s kitchen market.
The price of imported ginger rose by Tk20 to 30 in the last two or three days.
The retail prices of local onion was Tk120 to Tk140 per kg while onion imported from Myanmar sold for Tk80 to Tk90 per kg at Shukrabad kitchen market.
The price of cardamom is high for the last two months. On Saturday, per kg cardamom sold for Tk4,500 to Tk4,800, almost double the price a few days ago.
Traders said prices of most of the spices rose as China stopped exporting the items owing to coronavirus outbreak.
Talking to Dhaka Tribune, wholesale trader Imam Hossen at Shyambazar said that the prices of garlic and ginger went up slightly as Chain stopped export of the items.
"Now we have no stock of garlic as a big portion of garlic come from China," he said.
“If Chinese supplies do not normalize, the prices of garlic will rise further. However, prices of ginger will not rise more because it comes from another country,” he added.
At Shyambazar wholesale market, per kg local garlic sold for Tk110 to Tk120, while garlic imported from China sold at Tk180 to Tk190 per kg.
Rafiqul Islam, wholesale trader at the market, said, "Now we are looking for alternative sources to import spices."
Visiting kitchen markets in the capital, Dhaka Tribune found that the prices of edible oil, lentil, sugar and chili rose but the prices of winter vegetables dropped a bit.
Rozina Akter, a housewife, at Shantinagar kitchen market said that the prices of vegetables dropped a bit but spices became costly all on a sudden.
The government should take strict action against kitchen market syndicates because they raise spice prices before every Ramadan, said Rozina.
The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) will sell six products during the upcoming Ramadan to keep price of essential commodities stable.
TCB sells soybean oil, sugar, lentils, chickpeas and dates during Ramadan every year. But it has included onions on its list for this year as there has been an unusual increase in the price of the product.