Less than a week after Finance Minister AMA Muhith proposed the budget measures for the fiscal year 2014-15, the prices of essential commodities including sugar, edible oil and chickens have soared in the city markets.
During visits to several kitchen markets like Karwan Bazar, Mohammadpur Krishi Market and Town Hall Market, the surges were found.
The retailers were selling sugar at Tk48-50 per kilogram, risen by Tk5 from one week ago.
According to them, the wholesalers have raised the prices “where the retailers have nothing to do but sell at the increased prices.”
“Last week, the price (of sugar) was Tk43 per kg, but it now stands at Tk48 as the wholesalers have increased the price following the duty hike on import of raw materials for sugar,” Hannan Mia, a trader at Karwan Bazar, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday.
Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) data yesterday showed a Tk2 increase in the retail price of sugar as the product was selling at Tk45-48 per kg.
The government has proposed raising duty on raw beet sugar and raw cane sugar to Tk2,000 from the existing Tk1,500 for the upcoming fiscal year.
But the proposed budget is yet to be passed in the parliament for implementation in the year which begins from July.
The loose soy bean oil was found selling at Tk95-98 per litre while the price of bottled soy bean ranged from Tk115 to Tk120.
According to TCB data, the loose soy bean oil witnessed price hike from Tk97 to Tk101 per litre and bottled soy bean from Tk112 to Tk116.
A wholesalers’ leader, however, said the price hike of soy bean oil was due to “problem in the delivery process.”
“The price (of soy bean oil) has not increased on the wholesale market as the supply is sufficient, but there is some problem with the delivery process,” Hazi Md Abul Hashem, General Secretary of Bangladesh Edible Oil Wholesalers Association, told the Dhaka Tribune.
He, however, didn’t explain what type of problem they were facing in the delivery line.
“We are selling soy bean oil at Tk83.50 per litre and palm oil at Tk72.50 to the retailers who are expected to charge Tk2-3 more than the wholesale price,” he said.
Abul Hashem, however, warned that the price might increase further if the importers didn’t keep an additional stock to meet an increased demand during Ramadan.
During the market survey, it was also found that the broiler chickens were selling at Tk155 per kg, a Tk10 increase from the last week.
The layer chickens were being sold at Tk170 per kg, up by Tk5 from one week earlier. The price of local variety of chickens was Tk360 per kg.
TCB data showed the broiler chicken increased from Tk150 to Tk160 in the week. Prices of beef and mutton remained unchanged at Tk290-300 and Tk450-480 per kg respectively.
Regarding the prices of onion, Selim Miah, a retailer at Krishi Market, said they were selling the local variety at Tk35 and the imported one at Tk30 per kg.
He predicted: “The price of onion is unlikely to fall, rather it may see a price hike as the month of Ramadan approaches,”
Besides, the retail price of Najir Shail rice remained unchanged at Tk52-58 per kg while the Miniket was selling at Tk50-56, Paijam at Tk40-44 and BR28 from Tk44-Tk46.