Karwanbazar wholesalers stop potato sales yet again
The price of vegetables, except for potatoes, reduced in the capital's kitchen markets, a month after remaining out of consumers' reach due to high prices.
But traders said that cold storage owners were not releasing potatoes for less than Tk35-36 per kilogram, although they were instructed by the government to sell to wholesalers at Tk27 per kg.
Visiting several kitchen markets in the capital, this correspondent found potatoes retailing for Tk45-50 per kg, despite the Department of Agricultural Marketing's directive to sell potatoes at Tk35 per kg in retail.
Wholesalers at Karwanbazar kitchen market stopped selling potatoes for the second time in a week as they could not purchase the item from cold storage owners at government-set price.
Md Roni, a potato wholesaler of Karwanbazar, said he refrained from purchasing fresh stocks of potatoes from cold storages as the latter was not selling them at Tk30 per kg.
"As a result, we were previously forced to buy it at higher prices and sell to retailers at even higher prices," he lamented.
He urged the government to conduct mobile court operations at the capital's cold storages, who were disobeying government directives.
Other wholesalers, as of Friday, sold potatoes for Tk40 per kg.
Onion prices remained high as well, as the local variety retailed for Tk85-90 per kg over the week, and Tk75-76 per kg in wholesale.
The BR-28 and BR-29 rice sold for Tk54-55 a kg, while both Miniket and Najirshail sold for Tk56-65 a kg in retail.
A litre of unpacked soybean oil sold for Tk90-95 a litre, bottled soybean oil sold for Tk108-110, and palm oil sold for Tk85-86 a litre.
The prices of the fine variety of red lentils sold for Tk125 a kg, the medium-quality variety for Tk90-95 a kg, and the coarse variety for Tk65-70 a kg.
Price of local garlic increased by Tk10 over the week, and was selling for Tk120 per kg, while imported garlic retailed for Tk100 per kg. Ginger was selling for Tk240-250 per kg.
Price of vegetables reduce
The prices of most vegetables have reduced by Tk5-20 per kg over the week.
Aubergines retailed for Tk60 per kg, tomatoes for Tk120 per kg, bitter gourds for Tk60-80 per kg, beans for Tk120 per kg, and okra for Tk60 per kg.
Green chilli prices have also reduced by Tk100 per kg over the week, with the item retailing for Tk200 per kg on Saturday.
Md Solaiman, a retailer at Mogbazar kitchen market, said prices would further go down as new stocks of vegetables would arrive, in line with winter.
Shammi Akter, from Madhubagh, said the falling vegetable prices brought respite for customers like her, but would have been better if potato prices also dropped significantly.
Meanwhile, customers were also queuing up in front of the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB)'s open market sale (OMS) trucks across the capital, to purchase onions and potatoes at Tk30 and Tk25 per kg respectively.
The OMS trucks were also selling lentils at Tk50 per kg, packed soybean oil at Tk80 per litre, and sugar at Tk50 per kg.