Prices of powdered milk increased further this week, marking a fourth-time hike just in one year and intensifying the woes of the commoners further.
Most of the companies raised their powdered milk prices by Tk 30-50 a kg in the last seven days, and its maximum retail price (MRP) reached Tk 820-900 a kg, according to the trading sources.
MRP of Dano branded powdered milk, a product of multinational Arla Foods, shot up to Tk 900 from Tk 850 a kg, Diploma (New Zealand Dairy) to Tk 850 from Tk 820 a kg, Fresh (Meghna) to Tk 840 from Tk 810 a kg, and Marks (Abul Khair) to 820 from Tk 790 a kg in last seven days, said city groceries.
MRP of powdered milk was Tk 620-680 a kg in December 2021, which increased to Tk 690-740 a kg in March 2022, again to Tk 720-810 a kg in June 2022, and further to Tk 790-850 a kg in September 2022, the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) data showed.
The TCB recorded a 5.0-9.0 per cent hike in powdered milk prices in a week, while the current prices are nearly 30-63 per cent higher than those of a year back.
The powdered milk prices have increased in the country at a time when its global prices have been showing a downtrend for the last eight months, according to the global commodity web portals.
The average price of powdered milk declined to US$ 3,279 a tonne in October-November 2022, which was $3,717 a tonne in Sept, and $4,757 a tonne in March, according to the Global Dairy Trade, an international commodity portal.
Bangladesh imports 1,20,000-1,30,000 tonnes of powdered milk annually to meet its local demand, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
Meanwhile, liquid milk prices remained static at their previous high of Tk 80-90 a litre.
On the other hand, wheat flour prices continued to rise, as finer flour or maida packet price hit Tk 85 a kg, loose maida Tk 75-78 a kg, coarse flour or atta packet price Tk 75 a kg, and loose atta Tk 65-70 a kg - showing 5.0-7.0 per cent a kg hike in a week, 10-14 per cent in a month, and 50-71 per cent in a year, as per the TCB data.
Lentil prices further increased by Tk 10-15 a kg, as its medium variety was sold at Tk 130-135 a kg and finer variety at Tk 140-145 a kg.