Customers maintained their suspicion of a syndicate capitalizing on the price hike
Traders of essential cooking ingredients blamed excessive rainfall, along with the ongoing lockdown, behind the high prices for commodities in the capital.
Visiting several kitchen markets on Saturday, including New Market, Hatirpool, Karwan Bazar, Mohakhali and others, this correspondent found high prices of goods amid a handful of customers, despite everything being in abundant supply.
Retailers blamed the monsoon this week, which severely disrupted the supply chain distribution channel, behind supply scarcity, while customers maintained their suspicion of a syndicate capitalizing on the price hike.
Vegetables such as carrots and tomatoes became costlier by Tk30-50 per kilogram, selling on Saturday for Tk170 and Tk150 per kg respectively.
Other items such as cucumbers sold for Tk120 per kg, which was Tk80 last week. Hybrid cucumbers sold for Tk60-70 per kg, which was Tk30 last week.
The price of green chilies went up from Tk60 per kg last week to Tk100 per kilo.
Rasel Ahmed, a vegetable retailer at Hatirpool, said that excessive rainfall, along with the lockdown, heavily influenced commodity prices to go up.
Another retailer, Sardar Ali, said that post-Eid supply of vegetables could not enter the capital due to the strict lockdown, which began on Friday.
Another vendor Sardar Ali said: “Vegetable trucks could not reach from different parts of the country. Even though demand is almost the same as before, the shortage of supply has pushed up prices.”
"However, we are hopeful that prices will come down in a few days," he added.
Spices also remained out of the consumers' reach, as cumin sold for Tk300 per kg, cinnamon for Tk380 per kg, small cardamom for Tk2,400 per kg, coriander powder and turmeric powder at Tk120 per kg.
Onions sold for Tk45 per kg, local garlic Tk80-90 per kg, Chinese garlic at Tk150 per kg, local ginger Tk130 per kg and foreign ginger for Tk160 per kg.
In the fish market, prices slightly dipped. Ruhi sold at Tk250 per kg, down from Tk280-350 last week, while Ilish sold for Tk1,250-1,350 per kg, which was Tk1,100-1,200 last week.
Although the supply of fish is adequate in the markets, the number of buyers is dissatisfactory, said Mostofa Kamal, a fish retailer.
He said that Ilish prices rose by Tk100-150 per kg, citing high prices in the wholesale markets of Chandpur.
Rice prices also went up this past week, as both Najirshail and Miniket varieties, which sold for Tk58-60 per kg last week, sold this week for Tk65 per kg.
Paijam sold for Tk56 per kg, which was Tk53 last week.
Various coarse rice varieties sold at Tk50 per kg, which was Tk46 last week.