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18 January, 2020 00:00 00 AM
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Prices of cooking oil, red lentil, cardamom increase in capital

Onion, vegetables mark slight fall in past week
STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka
Prices of cooking oil, red lentil, cardamom increase in capital

The prices of loose cooking oil, cardamom, red lentils (masoor dal), and some varieties of rice increased in the kitchen markets of the capital over the last week. Consumers have been hit hard by a series of hikes in the prices of essential kitchen items in recent months.

However, the prices of different vegetables showed a downward trend during the same period. Onion, which is one of the main cooking ingredients, witnessed a slight decline over the week. Upon visiting different kitchen markets, including Karwan Bazar, yesterday, The Independent observed that both bottled (branded) and loose soybean oil became costlier by Tk. 3–4 per litre in the retail markets. Bottled varieties were selling at Tk. 110–114 per litre, loose soybean oil at Tk. 95–96 per litre, and super palm oil at Tk. 85–86 per litre yesterday.

The state-owned Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) noted a 3.5–5 per cent rise in cooking oil prices over the last seven days. The prices have risen by 8–13 per cent compared to those in January last year.

Cardamom prices also shot up to Tk. 5,500–6,200 per kg in the city markets last week.

The TCB recorded a 20 per cent hike in cardamom prices in the last seven days and 67 per cent over the past month.

Traders also said that a significant price hike in India led to the rise in cardamom prices. India is a major cardamom-producing country in South Asia.

Habibur Rahman, a spice trader at the Karwan Bazar wholesale market, said that a large quantity of cardamom, imported from Guatemala in Latin America, was re-exported to India through informal channels.

Cardamom prices are very high in India currently owing to crop losses in the country's spice hubs in the southern states, he mentioned.

He said exporting countries like Guatemala, Tanzania, El Salvador, and Papua New Guinea have raised their import costs following a rise in demand by India.

The price of red lentils in the retail market also increased by Tk. 10–15 per kg. The variety was being sold at Tk. 65–70 per kg yesterday.

According to the TCB, the price of lentils in Dhaka was Tk. 55–60 per kg in December. This marks a 19 per cent price hike.

Even the prices of mung bean (deshi mug) had gone up by Tk. 20 per kg to Tk. 140 per kg.

Traders explained that the recent wildfires in Australia had pushed up the price of red lentils, which are imported from that region. The annual domestic demand for red lentils is five lakh tonnes,

half of which comes from Australia and Canada.

The prices of medium- and finer-quality rice, including BRRI dhan-28, Miniket, and Jeerashail, rose by Tk. 2–3 per kg at retail outlets over the week.  Traders said the prices had increased mainly as this is the off-season for the three varieties of rice.

BRRI-28 was sold at Tk. 44–47 per kg, and Jeerashail and Miniket at Tk. 55–67 per kg based on their quality.

Rahmat Ullah, a Karwan Bazar-based rice trader, said the prices of the three Boro season varieties had increased by Tk. 40–60 per 50-kg sack in the last one-and-a-half-weeks. “The prices of the varieties increased following normal trading norms,” he added.

The arrival of winter vegetables has led to a decrease in vegetable prices, bringing some cheer to consumers amid this bleak scenario.

Onion prices declined to some extent over the past week.

The local newly harvested Murikata variety sold at Tk. 120–130 per kg, while imported varieties went for Tk. 70–90 per kg yesterday.

Traders say increasing supplies of common vegetables like cauliflowers, cabbages, gourds, and tomatoes have resulted in a fall in prices. The price of beans, for instance, dropped by more than half compared to last week.

Winter vegetables like cauliflowers, cabbages, country beans, radishes, carrots, and tomatoes showed a Tk. 10–20 decline per kg/piece in the last seven days. Insiders said this was thanks to a massive drop in the prices of the items at the farm level.

Cauliflowers and cabbages retailed at Tk. 30–40 apiece yesterday, country beans at Tk. 35–50 per kg, radishes at Tk. 30–35 per kg, carrots at Tk. 50 per kg, and newly harvested tomatoes at Tk. 70–80 per kg.

Beef sold for Tk. 530–550 per kg in the capital yesterday, while mutton was priced in the Tk. 750–800 range.

Most fish, including hilsha, have become more expensive. Traders attributed this to low catches in rivers, lakes, ponds, and sanctuaries amid cold weather.

Hilsha prices rose to Tk. 1,000–1,650 per kg depending on the size of the fish, marking a 20–25 per cent hike within a week. The prices of riverine rohu, katla,

shrimp, and tengra have also increased by Tk. 40–100 per kg.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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