Inside Trade

Cucumber and eggplant price doubled in three days

Publish: 11:34 AM, 04 Apr, 2022


The prices of essential commodities have skyrocketed over the last two months. Due to various measures taken by the government, the prices of essential commodities have come down a bit before Ramadan but started rising again at the beginning of this holy month. Prices of consumer goods are rising. Notable among these are dates, cucumbers, malts, eggplants. The fasting people have started getting frustrated due to the increase in prices. The people of the country are struggling to buy products for Ramadan. The government has formed a task force to control commodity prices, increased market monitoring, mobile courts are working but prices are still not being controlled.

In the last three days, the price of eggplant has gone up by 40 to 50 Tk per kg, local cucumber by 50 to 60 Tk per kg, Malta by 30 to 40 Tk and lemon by 30 to 40 Tk per hali. Besides, every dozen bananas have increased by Tk 30, carrots by Tk 20, apples by Tk 20 to 30 and grapes by Tk 20 to 30. Such a picture has been seen in different markets of the capital.

It can be seen that the cucumber is being sold at 140 to 150 Tk per kg and one-day old at 100 Tk. But three days ago, cucumber was sold at 60 to 70 Tk at max. Eggplants are being sold at Tk 60-80 per kg, carrots at Tk 60 per kg, lemons at Tk 40-70 every four piece, malta at Tk 180 per kg and watermelons at Tk 50 per kg. The price of vegetable banana has gone up by Tk 150 per dozen in the market. Traders claim that retail prices have also risen due to rising prices of Iftar products in the wholesale market.

Jatrabari fruit shops and markets in the capital have been visited, apples at Tk 220 to Tk 240 per kg, Malta at Tk 180 to Tk 200, grapes at Tk 280 to Tk 220, ajwa dates at Tk 500, dabas dates at Tk 250 to Tk 280, sugai dates at Tk 400, watermelon is being sold at Tk 50 for small size and Tk 60 for large size. Besides, eggplant is being sold at Tk 100 per kg and domestic cucumber at Tk 80 to Tk 100.

Government officials say there are some unscrupulous traders who are actually raising prices in the hope of making more profit during Ramadan. The government is aware of this. Action will be taken against those who are trying to destabilize the market by raising the prices of goods in an unscrupulous manner.

Market analysts say the government is trying its best. However, it is very difficult to control some unscrupulous traders in the market. As a result, the price of the product is increasing in the market. However, there is market monitoring. Analysts expect prices to fall soon.

Ramadan   Commodity Prices  


Inside Trade

Potatoes already selling at Tk25 per kg in Dinajpur as import starts through Hili


In a government move to tame the country’s potato market, a total of 25 tonnes of potato arrived in Bangladesh through Dinajpur’s Hili land port from India on Saturday afternoon.

As a result, the price of potatoes came down by Tk 10-15 per kg at retail markets in the district, reports UNB’s Hili correspondent.

Md Ifsuf Ali, deputy assistant quarantine officer of Hili Land Port Plant Quarantine Centre, said on Wednesday the government decided to import potatoes to rein in the runaway price.

On the same day, importers of Hili land port applied for permission at Khamarbari in Dhaka to import potatoes, he said.

A total of 49 importers of the port got permission to import 34,000 metric tonnes of potatoes from Thursday afternoon while the import started on Saturday afternoon, said the quarantine officer.

Shahidul Islam, an importer at Hili land port, said the price of potato has increased to Tk 40 per kg at retail level, despite the season.

To deal with the situation, the government has decided to import potatoes to keep the market normal in Ramadan. Potato import from India through Hili land port started on Saturday, said the importer, adding that the price of potato decreased to Tk 25-30 per kg

Sources at the land port said that the price of potato went out of control on the pretext of a crisis in the country's market last year.

On October 30, the government allowed importing potatoes from India to keep the situation normal. Since then, the price of imported potatoes has come down in the market.

Following the market stability, the government again stopped importing potatoes through Hili land port from December 15.


Potato   Dinajpur   Hili  


Inside Trade

Market Prices in Disarray


The prices of daily essentials are rising alarmingly. The continuous increase in the prices of everyday products is causing distress in the households of middle and lower-income individuals. Staple items like edible oil, rice, lentils, along with newly added items like onions, flour, chicken, vegetables, and eggs are seeing a hike in their prices. The cost of cooking gas and fuel is also increasing. Shoppers are in a dilemma when they go to the market, unsure of what to buy and what to leave, given the current economic situation.

Faisal Ahmed, a master's student at Jahangirnagar University, resides in Mohammadpur, Dhaka. He has been working at a private institution for the last four years. Whenever he comes to buy daily necessities in Kachabazaar, Mohammadpur Town Hall, he notices the skyrocketing prices. He says, "Last year in April, I had plans for a promotion. But due to the pandemic, it hasn't happened yet. However, the prices of commodities are indeed increasing. There's nothing that costs the same as it did two months ago. I don't know if there's a situation like this elsewhere, but it's happening here for sure."

A teacher at a private institution reveals that he wait for the government's TCB (Trading Corporation of Bangladesh) truck in front of his workplace. From there, he buy daily necessities and take them home. With the prices in the market continuously rising, there seems to be no alternative. Even though institutions have reopened, the impact of the pandemic on the economy has affected parents' financial stability, making it difficult for students to continue their studies. The teacher shares, "My family has four members, and our financial situation has not been great for the past two years. Among all this, household expenses are increasing."

Various vegetable markets and shops in Dhaka reveal that sugar prices have increased by 11%, while flour prices have gone up by 8% to 12%. Onion prices have risen by nearly 50%, and the price of eggs has increased by around 10 taka per dozen. Most vegetables now cost more than 50 taka per kilogram. The price of chicken has also surged. These are just a few examples of price hikes. The prices of various essential goods are also on the rise. For instance, a soap that used to sell for 35 taka for a 100-gram bar a few months ago is now selling for 40 taka. The prices of detergent, toothpaste, coconut oil, and toilet tissue have also increased. Even a familiar brand's pack of tissues, which used to cost 17 taka, now sells for 20 taka.

Exploring the market, we find that winter vegetables like cauliflower are being sold for 120 to 140 taka. Carrots are being sold for 100 to 120 taka, and tomatoes are priced between 120 to 140 taka per kilogram. Radishes and pointed gourds are sold for 50 to 60 taka per kilogram, while bitter gourds are priced between 60 to 80 taka. Ridge gourds are being sold for 80 to 90 taka, and snake gourds are available for 50 to 60 taka.

Similarly, the price of green chilies has risen from 70 taka per kilogram to a whopping 200 taka. Despite the stable price of beef, boiler chicken is being sold at 180 taka per kilogram. Just a month ago, boiler chicken was priced between 120 to 125 taka per kilogram. A dozen farm eggs are being sold for 110 to 120 taka, while in local shops, one egg is being sold for 10 to 11 taka. At the beginning of the previous month, a dozen eggs were available for 90 to 95 taka.

Business owners have stated that generally, there is a shortage of vegetables in September and October. Winter vegetables are expected to arrive in the market soon. Additionally, there have been reports of wild flood causing damage in many areas. Due to this, they mention that vegetable and chicken prices have increased slightly.

Mr. Ali, a vegetable trader in Mohammadpur Town Hall Market, explains that vegetables, from tomatoes to onions, are coming from India. The ongoing Puja festival has driven prices up. He says, "We buy from wholesalers. We make a profit of two to four taka per kilogram, which we use to support our families. While purchasing has decreased on one hand, household expenses are increasing on the other."

Saiful Islam, the owner of a poultry house named Chittagong poultry house, reports that rising prices have affected the business negatively. He states that there are very few customers now, and he open his shop at 7 am in the morning, but now it’s12 pm. He mentions that only one customer visited his shop during this time.

Going to the fish market, it can be seen that roe fish is being sold at 280 to 380 taka per kg. Besides, Mrigel is being sold at Tk 240 to Tk 280, Telapia Tk 160 to Tk 180, Pabda Tk 450 to Tk 500 and Pangash Tk 120 to Tk 160 per kg. As before, Hilsa is being sold at high prices in the market. Large (above one kg) hilsa kg 1100 to 1300 Tk. Medium sized hilsa is being sold at 600 to 800 taka per kg. And the small ones are being sold at 500 to 600 taka per kg. However, it can be said that the price of hilsa remains unchanged over the week.

The price of one kilogram of rice ranges from 50 to 60 Taka. Among these, Miniket is selling at Tk 60, Nazir Shail at Tk 65 to Tk 70 and Golden Rice at Tk 48 per kg. Soybean oil was bought at Tk 145 per liter a month ago, but now the consumer has to spend Tk 5 more and buy it at Tk 150. 

Meanwhile, domestic onion is now selling at Tk 70 and Indian onion at Tk 65 per kg in the market. A month ago these prices were 45 taka 38 taka respectively. During the month, desi onion has increased by Tk 25 per kg and Indian onion by Tk 27 per kg. However, according to shopkeepers, the prices of lentils and sugar remain stable. Currently, local lentils are priced at 110 Taka, Indian lentils at 90 Taka, and packaged sugar is being sold at 85 Taka per kilogram.

Business owners are mentioning that the prices of essential products in the international market have increased, and this has had an impact here as well. However, market analysts have a different perspective. They are saying that for many products in the local market, prices are higher than in the international market. In other words, business owners are making more money on many products by charging higher prices in the international market. And this money comes from all of us.

However, many market analysts believe that factors such as disruptions in supply due to the pandemic, reduced production, increased prices of cooking oil, and higher shipping costs, along with prevailing practices in various countries, are responsible for the price hikes this time.

From the poor to the middle class in the TCB Line

When the pandemic is affecting life in various ways, the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) has become a lifeline for low-income people. Through TCB dealers, sugar, red lentils, and bottled soybean oil are being sold at subsidized prices at various crowded and important locations in Dhaka city. Alongside those with higher incomes, many middle-class people are also waiting in line to get these products.

A person waiting in line without revealing his name expressed frustration, saying that even though the government claims that price increases do not lead to inflation in the country, I’m not convinced. He asked if the government wants people to suffer from inflation before taking any action. He continued by saying that it is important to have food on the table for development, and on one hand, there is not enough food on the table, while on the other hand, the minister says that there is no possibility of reducing the prices of essential commodities within the next two to three months. Later, it was observed that the businessmen increased the prices further, contrary to what the minister had said.

Asking about how prices of goods increase, market analysts explain that this year, bumper yields have occurred in the country. However, rice prices have still risen. The reason is that there is insufficient rice in the market. So, where did all this rice go? It went into the hands of hoarders and unscrupulous businessmen. As a result, for the past one and a half years, the rice market has been out of control. Furthermore, there is an uncontrollable surge in the price of edible oil due to the international market. Prices have increased in the global market, but they have increased even more in the country's market. Market analysts believe that prices have been artificially increased here as well.

Analysts say that the common people think that development is necessary, but it is even more urgent to survive. If people cannot afford to buy essential items in the market, then development seems meaningless to them. If people suffer from shortages and cannot properly manage their market expenses, then they feel that development is pointless. In these circumstances, the government needs to take a look, especially at the uncontrolled surge in commodity prices. Otherwise, the government's projects, such as the Padma Bridge or the metro rail, may seem worthless to the people.

Market Price   Disarray  


Inside Trade

Refiners want Tk 15 per litre soybean oil price hike by tomorrow

Publish: 12:56 PM, 05 Nov, 2022


Soybean oil price may go up as Bangladesh Tariff Commission (BTC) is considering proposal for hiking edible oil price due to higher production costs.

Bangladesh Vegetable Oil Refiners and Banaspati Manufacturers Association (BVORBMA), the association of owners of edible oil refining and marketing companies, has submitted a proposal to raise soybean oil price by Tk15 per litre.

The oil refiners argued that traders will count losses due to higher production costs and price hikes in the global market if soybean oil price is not adjusted.

The refiners submitted a letter last Tuesday to Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh, urging the government to readjust the prices by Sunday (tomorrow). The refiners made the proposal a month after lowering soybean oil price by Tk14 a litre.

Chief Executive of BVORBMA, Nurul Islam Molla, told UNB, the situation was described to the commerce secretary.

After a meeting with Salman F Rahman, the prime minister's adviser for private industry and investment on October 3, the association lowered the prices by Tk 14 a litre. The price of a litre of unbottled soybean oil was set at Tk158, a litre bottle at Tk178, and a 5-litre bottle at Tk880.


Oil   Price Hike   Bangladesh  


Inside Trade

Imports fell by 12 percent in September

Publish: 11:05 AM, 11 Oct, 2022


Imports were expected to fall for several months due to the massive restriction on luxury goods imports. Although the impact is not felt till August, both imports and exports have declined since September.

According to main line operators of foreign vessels, imports fell by 12 percent in September and exports by 16 percent compared to August 2022.

According to the main line operators of foreign vessels, in September 2022, 1 lakh 1 thousand 493 units of import cargo containers arrived at Chittagong port; In August the amount was 1 lakh 14 thousand 920 units. In percentage, imports decreased by 12 percent. The import volume in July was 1 lakh 13 thousand 600 units.

Traders say that the reason for the decrease in imports is that the Board of Revenue has imposed new duties on the import of 135 types of non-essential and luxury goods last May. Along with these products, banks have to pay 100% margin to open a credit card for import of less important products. Which means, traders have to pay 1 crore cash in order to open a credit card of 1 crore Tk. The booking rate of these products abroad has also increased; And the demand in the country has decreased. Overall, the rate of import of goods fell.

Ajmir Hossain Chowdhury, Head of Operations and Logistics of Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), said that due to strict opening of credit, volatility in dollar exchange rate and reduced demand, imports have decreased. This trend may last till December to January.

MA Salam, head of the Asian Group and a garment trader, said one of the main reasons for the decline in exports was the disruption of the supply chain due to the Russia-Ukraine war. Also, due to the increase in the price of products, buyers are more interested in everyday products than luxury products across Europe.

However, a director of Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association said that the export rate is low from September-November every year. It happened this time too. Exports increased by 14 percent in September 2022 compared to September 2021. Exports are now higher than in 2019. I am hopeful that exports will start to pick up again from November.


Inside Trade

New price of 12kg LPG drops by Tk35 to Tk1200

Publish: 06:52 PM, 02 Oct, 2022


The Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) on Sunday announced the new price of liquefied petroleum gas for the month of October, a drop of Tk2.91 per kg.

A 12-kg LPG cylinder would now cost Tk1200 (instead of Tk1,235) for retail, according to the revised price.

The prices of LPG for other sizes of cylinders from 5.5 kg to 45 kg will come down rationally, said BERC chairman Abdul Jalil, who announced the new price at a virtual press briefing on Sunday.

As per the announcement, the price of auto gas (LPG used for motor vehicles) was reduced to 55.92 per litre from previous price of Tk 57.55 per litre, down by Tk 1.63 per litre.

The new price will be effective from 6 pm on Sunday (October 2).

Jalil informed that the US Dollar rate was considered at Tk 106.64 in refixing the price of the LPG as private operators import it from Middle East through foreign currency.

He said though the LPG price has substantially come down in the global market, consumers are not getting full advantage of the downward trend due to the high dollar price in the local market.

Last month, the dollar exchange rate was considered Tk104.02

The price of LPG, marketed by state-owned LP Gas Company, will remain as usual as it is locally produced with a market share of less than 5%.

The LPG price went up to the highest Tk1,439 (a 12kg cylinder) in the local market, following the start of the Russia-Ukraine war in February this year.

The LPG price was the lowest at Tk1,225 for a 12kg cylinder in January this year and it witnessed continuous hikes in February, March and April.

LPG   Price drop   BERC