Gas and edible oil saw the biggest price hike
Essential commodities such as edible oil, broiler chicken and gas witnessed the most price hikes during the month of Ramadan.
Gas and edible oil saw the biggest price hike.
A litre of soybean oil sold during Ramadan at Tk144, while a five-litre bottle sold for Tk660-685.
For the first time in the country, the price of cylinders containing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) was officially fixed on April 12.
The Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) announced the price for May on April 29 at Tk906 per cylinder, but consumers were seen paying for a 10-12litre cylinder from Tk950-1,200 apiece.
Broiler chickens were sold at Tk150-155 per kg, up from Tk140 last week.
Layer chicken, which was sold at Tk200-220 per kg last week, was sold on Tuesday at Tk230-235 per kg.
However, the price of golden or Pakistani roosters remains unchanged, selling at Tk240-280 per kg as before.
Rahim Bepari at Karwan Bazar said that it was usual for chicken prices to go up before Eid.
“Two days before Eid, prices of all types of chickens have gone up further, as demand for poultry gradually increases just before the day of Eid,” he added.
Vegetable prices were also up during Ramadan. Most of the vegetables available in the market witnessed spikes of Tk5-8 per kilogram. Although onion was between Tk 42-45 per kg.
Rashid Ali, a trader at Karwan Bazar, said: “Prices of some vegetables may even go up after Eid.”
The price of both loose and packed sugar also went up, with loose sugar sold at Tk75-76 per kg, which was Tk70-74 last week.
The price of packed sugar, which was Tk75 last week, increased to Tk78 per kg.
Montu Miah, a sugar retailer at New Market kitchen market in the capital, said that sugar manufacturers increased prices ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, leaving them no choice but to increase prices in retail as well.
Sabbir Mahmud, a consumer, said that amid Ramadan, every essential commodity price was high. Oil, sugar, watermelon and vegetable prices were steadily going up, becoming unbearable for people like them.
Nazrul Islam, a former economics professor at the University of Dhaka (DU), said that there is often an artificial crisis in the market by syndicating middlemen and unscrupulous traders, which results in rising prices even when there is adequate supply.
In order to maintain stability in the market, it is necessary to keep a close eye on the increase in government stocks of food items and the price manipulation by syndicates, he explained.
SM Nazer Hussain, vice-president of Consumer Association Bangladesh (CAB), told Dhaka Tribune that earlier, the government had increased edible oil prices twice as per traders' demand amid Ramadan. Syndicates are bagging the opportunity of inactiveness of the national competition commission amid Ramadan
He further suggested that strict action, proper market monitoring, and enforcement could help the consumers weather this storm.