Loose cooking oil, vegetables, cardamom and some varieties of rice became costlier last week, raising sufferings of the consumers who have already been fored to go deep into their pockets to meet the rising expenditure of their day-to-day life for price hike of other essential items.
However, price of onion, one of the main cooking ingredients in the country, witnessed a slight decline in the week.
Medium and finer quality of rice including BRRIdhan-28, miniket and Jeerashail prices rose by Tk 2.0-3.0 per kilogram (kg) at the city retails in the week.
Traders said the prices increased due mainly to the current off-season for the three varieties of rice.
BRRI-28 was sold at Tk 44-47 per kg, Jeerashail and miniket at Tk 55-67 a kg based on their quality at the retail markets.
Contacted, Haji Akramul Hoque, a Badamtoli-based rice trader, said prices of the three Boro season varieties increased by Tk 40- 60 a per 50-kg sack in last one-and-a-half-week.
He said: "The prices of the varieties increased following normal trading norms."
Prices of seasonal coarse varieties--- BR-11 and Swarna, however, remained almost stable at Tk 34-36 a kg at Badamtoli and Babubazar markets in the last one month, he noted.
The two varieties were sold at Tk 38-42 a kg at the retail markets on Thursday, almost static compared to the prices of seven days back, according to the market sources.
Secretary of Bangladesh Auto Major Husking Mill Owners Association K M Layek Ali said prices of some Boro season varieties increased to some extent amid a decline in supply.
"But there is nothing to worry about as supply of Aman season rice is aplenty," he said.
The Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) was expecting 14.7 million tonnes of rice production in the just-ended Aman harvesting season.
Bangladesh produced all-time high 37.2 million tonnes of rice in the last financial year (FY '19).
Cardamom prices shot up to Tk 5,500-6,200 per kg at the city market last week.
The state-owned Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) recorded a 20-per cent hike in cardamom prices in the last seven days and 67 per cent in one month.
Traders said a notable price hike in neighbouring country India caused such rise in cardamom prices. India is one of the big cardamom producing countries in South Asia.
Arifur Rahman, a spice trader at Moulovibazar wholesale market in the capital, said a large quantity of cardamom, imported from Guatemala of Latin America, was re-exported to India through informal channels.
Prices of the essential spice is much high in India this season amid a crop loss in the country's spice hubs in the southern states, he mentioned.
Many traders in Rangpur, Dinajpur, Kurigram, Jashore and Khulna districts purchased a good quantity of cardamom from Chattogram and Moulovibazar in September and October months of 2019, which was much larger in quantity than they normally buy during that time of a year.
He said exporting countries like Guatemala, Tanzania, El Salvador, Papua New Guinea have raised their import costs following a rise in demand by India for its crop loss.
According to the commerce ministry, Bangladesh consumes 7,000-8,000 tonnes of the fragrant spice most of which are imported from Guatemala and India.
Prices of loose edible oil increased again by Tk1.0-2.0 a litre in seven days. Loose soybean oil was sold at Tk 95-97 a litre on Thursday. Super palm oil was sold at Tk 88-90 a kg on the day.
Prices of local onion varieties witnessed a decline as they were sold at Tk 110-120 per kg which was Tk 130-150 a kg seven days back.
Prices of some vegetables, including pumpkin, bottle gourd and chilli, increased by at least Tk 10-20 per kg or per signle piece in the past week.
Green chilli was sold at Tk 90-100 a kg, pumpkin Tk 35-40 a kg and bottle gourd at Tk 60-90 per piece based on their size.
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