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Commodity prices still riding high

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Prices of daily necessities, including eggs, chicken, vegetables and rice, have been on the rise for several weeks, signalling no relief for the people from surging price hikes in the country.

Prices of rice, eggs, and chicken have been increasing steadily for the past few weeks, according to information from different kitchen markets of the capital, the price of coarse and fine rice has increased by Tk2-Tk3 per kg.

Coarse variant of rice is being sold at Tk50-Tk52 and paijam variant is being sold at Tk55-Tk62.

Finer variants or Miniket and Nazirshail are being sold at Tk70-Tk84 per kg based on types.

The proprietor of Comilla Rice Agency at Karwan Bazar said that the price of rice increased in the wholesale market, which also affected its retail prices. 

Moreover, the peak season of rice is over and imported rice is yet to reach the market. 

“Due to this, the price of rice is increasing. We can’t get an adequate supply of rice even with advance payment, thanks to supply shortage,” he added.

Meanwhile, before this week, the price of rice had been in decline for three consecutive weeks by Tk6-Tk8 but now prices were rising again, said retailers. 

The Bangladesh Competition Commission accused some related companies for raising prices by creating artificial shortage of eggs.

However, the price of eggs is increasing by leaps and bounds, and every 4 pieces has reached Tk50 again, with no sign of decreasing.

The price of eggs reached Tk160-Tk170 for a dozen in the last month, however, then lowered to Tk120. 

But for the last two weeks, it started hiking again and the price of a dozen became Tk150 which has remained unchanged. 

Two weeks ago, traders cited heavy rains as the reason for the hike in egg prices.

However, egg prices did not come down despite the weather becoming favourable again. 

A few poultry companies were also alleged to hike prices deliberately. 

The price of broiler chicken is also increasing, selling at Tk175-180 per kg, while Sonali chicken at Tk280-300 or more, and local chicken at Tk550-600 per kg in various markets of the capital.

Moreover, there is no change in the price of wheat flour (atta) and all-purpose flour (maida), loose atta at Tk55 per kg, packed atta at Tk58, loose maida at Tk63 per kg, and packed maida at Tk75, meaning price has increased by Tk1-Tk2 per kg rather decline.

The price of loose soybean oil also hiked to Tk177 per kg, which was Tk172 in the last week.

Traditionally, before winter, there is supply scarcity in the vegetable market. 

Capitalizing on this, sellers increased the price of vegetables abnormally, at least Tk15-Tk25 per item.

Eggplant was being sold at Tk100, radish Tk60, cucumber at Tk70, bitter gourd at Tk80, pointed gourd at Tk50-Tk60, tomatoes at Tk120-Tk140, beans Tk150-Tk160, papayas Tk20-Tk30 apiece, snake gourd (Chichinga) at Tk60-Tk70, and long beans at Tk70-Tk80 per kg. 

The price of ginger increased to Tk140 for local and Tk100 for imported variants. 

The price of garlic has increased to Tk120 per kg. 

Global prices

According to a recent report published by Bloomberg, global food prices fell slightly after demand for some products weakened and there was a seasonal uptick in supplies. 

Wheat harvests in the northern hemisphere are helping ease supply constraints, while more grain trickles out of ports in Ukraine. 

A United Nations index of world food costs dropped 1.9% in August from the previous month. 

The index remained at the lowest level since January. 

Falling prices may offer some relief to consumers as they grapple with a deepening cost-of-living crisis. 

Meanwhile, food inflation shows no signs of easing in many nations, with higher energy prices likely to boost processing costs. 

Harvests may shrink in the long term as farmers curb fertilizer use, the report added.

Meanwhile, in India, the concessional customs duty on edible oil imports has been extended by another 6 months till March 2023 to control the price of edible oil.

Currently, as of September 1, the price of soybean oil is Rs156 per kg and palm oil Rs132.94 per kg, according to a Times of India report.

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