No vegetables sold for less than Tk40 per kilo
There is no sign of decrease in prices of essential cooking ingredients, including potatoes, onions, eggs, ginger, edible oil and rice - which continue to remain out of the customers' reach.
Although prices of some vegetables reduced a bit over the week, most of the other items were sold in prices similar to last week.
No potatoes were found retailing for less than Tk40-45 per kilogram, even after the government fixed the price at Tk35 per kg.
Almost none of the vegetables were selling for less than Tk40 per kg in retail.
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. Onions were sold for Tk80-90 per kg, and green chillies for Tk200-250 per kg.
Ginger prices increased by Tk10 per kg over the week, as the imported variety were sold in retail for Tk240-260 per kg, while local ginger sold for Tk90-150 per kg.
Traders placed the usual blame on supply shortage and season endings, as the main causes of the high prices.
Abdul Momen, a retailer from Malibagh kitchen market in the capital, said: “We have nothing to do here as the prices remained high in the wholesale markets. But we are hopeful that prices will reduce during the winter season."
Prices still not affordable
According to the retailers, other vegetables such as cucumbers retailed for Tk50-70 per kg, carrots for Tk60 per kg, while new winter arrivals such as cauliflowers and cabbages were retailing for Tk40-50 per kg.
Customers also alleged that traders were not selling rice at government-set prices.
Traders also are not maintaining the price that the government fixed a month ago. The BR-28 and BR-29 rice were both sold for Tk54-55 a kg, while both Miniket and Najirshail sold for Tk56-65 a kg in retail.
The prices of other commodities also remained high over the week.
A litre of unpacked soybean oil sold for Tk93-95 a litre, bottled soybean oil sold for Tk108-110, and palm oil sold for Tk85-90 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.
Prices of local garlic were Tk100-120 per kg in retail, while imported garlic retailed for Tk90-100 per kg.
“We are buying essential items for several months at high prices, with no signs for reduction anytime soon. About half of my wages goes into buying these necessary items. I cannot save any money after covering the necessary costs,” said Aysha Siddika, a tailor apprentice from Farmgate area of the capital.
Ismail Hossain, from Khilgaon, expressed similar frustration over the prices of vegetables.
“I cannot bear the load of extra prices of the kitchen items. I cannot control my expenses even after reducing my food intake, nor can I maintain the nutrition for my six-month pregnant wife,” he lamented.