Despite adequate supply in the market, the prices rose at regular intervals after Eid-ul-Fitr
Prices of different spices have shot up several times ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, when people consume an increased amount of various spices used in delicacies prepared on the occasion.
The prices, specially of those mostly used in meat items, registered a hike by 25% to 35% on an average in the last two months while in some cases the price increased by 50%.
Despite adequate supply in the market, the prices rose at regular intervals after Eid-ul-Fitr.
The price of cardamom, which is mostly used in cooking meat to add flavour to it, has seen a sharp rise to Tk3,000 per kg from Tk1,900 while per kg cinnamon is now selling at Tk420 to Tk 460, up from Tk300-Tk350.
Cumin, another vital spice used in meat recipe, shot up to Tk450 per kg from Tk350. Its price was stable at Tk320–Tk350 over the last two months, but started to go up since the beginning of the current month ahead of Eid.
Besides, clove also saw an average price hike of Tk100 to Tk150.
Ginger also saw a sharp rise a head of Eid and is now selling at Tk150 to Tk200 which was Tk100 to Tk120 two months ago.
Usually ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, traders increase the prices of essentials commodities on all a sudden but this year they have done it gradually so as not to be visible.
In the last two months after Eid-ul-Fitr, businesspeople increased spice prices in three steps.
Shoppers have alleged that retailers and wholesalers are out to make some extra profit ahead of Eid. In absence of media follow-ups and monitoring by the authorities after Ramadan, traders hike the prices.
According to daily record of market prices of Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) on June 3 and as per the findings of Dhaka Tribune, per kg cardamom was sold at Tk1,900 to Tk2,200, which on July 3 was Tk2,200 to Tk2,400 while it is now selling at Tk2,400 to Tk3,000.
Cinnamon was sold at Tk300-Tk350 in June, Tk350–Tk400 in July which is now selling at Tk420–Tk460.
Cumin was sold at Tk320–Tk350 in June but now is selling at Tk400–Tk450.
In June, clove was sold at Tk1,200–Tk1,350, in July it was Tk1,300–Tk1,400 and now it is selling at Tk1,200–Tk1,400.
Ginger price was Tk100–Tk120 in June, Tk130–Tk160 in July and now it is selling at Tk150–Tk200.
Raihan Alam, a private service holder, said the price of a kg of cardamom was nearly Tk3,000, which she said was unacceptable. "It was much cheaper during Ramadan," she said.
Sarmin Begum, a garment worker, expressed her disappointment with high prices of spices.
“Each and every essential spice price has gone up which is really troublesome for people like us," she added.
Prices of spices skyrocketed as they were mostly used during Eid-ul-Azha, said Karim Mollah, a trader of Mollah General Store at Karwan Bazar.
Spice wholesaler Md Masud of Karwan Bazar, however, attributed the hike to recent price increase in international market and observed that it might continue to rise further.
“We have to buy the spices at high price and the price hike has nothing to do with the upcoming Eid," he added.
Md Enayetullah, president of Bangladesh Spices Traders' Association, a platform of spice wholesalers, said the country's spice markets depended heavily on imports.
“In recent times, most of the spice prices have increased in global market. We are selling cardamom at wholesale price of Tk2,400–Tk2,600," he said.
"Moreover, it is taking longer than ever to release goods from the port. As a result, the cost of import is also increasing, which impacts the price hike of the products," he further said.