Sugar to cost Tk10 more following edible oil

To keep up with price hikes in the global market, local sugar refiners have proposed raising the price of the commodity by Tk10 per kg, imposing a maximum retail price (MRP) of Tk85 per kg.

Although the Commerce Ministry has yet to approve the price hike, sugar is already being sold at Tk85 per kg in the market.

Mahbub Ahmed, who had been shopping for essentials and groceries on Friday, said it cost him Tk86 to buy one kg of sugar, and that edible oil prices have also gone up. 

Mustafizur Rahman, distinguished fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said the price hike of commodities in the international market will naturally impact the local price, but the government has to keep tabs on the global market and identify periodical hikes and prepare in advance to counter such hikes. 

He also advised strict monitoring of the local commodity market by the government to contain the price hikes.

Earlier, the Commerce Ministry had only approved the price hike for edible oil in response to demands by oil refiners and following discussions with different traders' associations.

The rise in edible oil prices by Tk7, taking it to Tk160 from the previous Tk153 per litre, received approval following a proposal by Bangladesh Vegetable Oil Refiners and Vanaspati Manufacturers Association.

The trade body said in the statement that the prices were revised following discussions with the Commerce Ministry and the Tariff Commission in the wake of a hike of unrefined soybean and palm oil prices in the international market.

The latest hike means it now costs Tk760 to buy a five-litre soybean oil container, up from Tk728 a month ago. 

Unbottled or unpacked soybean oil has been priced at Tk136 per litre, while palm oil will now cost Tk118 per litre.

Similarly, the Bangladesh Sugar Refiners Association (BSRA) had also proposed increasing the price of sugar to Tk85 per kg from Tk75, and the MRP of unpackaged sugar to Tk80 from Tk74 per kg.

According to the Tariff Commission, raw (crude) sugar is selling at $490-520 per ton in the global market. 

In the local markets, sugar is selling at Tk85-90 per kg in the retail markets with traders claiming that they are selling old stocks of sugar that were bought at higher prices.

In September this year, the government cut the price of sugar, fixing packed and loose sugar prices at Tk75 and Tk74 per kg, respectively. 

According to the Commerce Ministry, although it had received a letter from the sugar refining association, it did not provide approval of the new proposed rate.

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