Merchants blame flooding in hubs
Yasser Wardad |
Jun 25, 2022 8:57:59 a.m.
June 25, 2022 9:00:45 a.m.
Rice prices continued to rise in local markets, with major consumer goods companies raising prices by a maximum of Tk 6.0-11 per kg, according to market sources.
Onion and some vegetables also followed the upward price trend, further increasing consumer suffering.
The retail price of unbranded common rice has increased by Tk 2.0-4.0 per kg, with coarse rice being sold at Tk 52-54 per kg, medium rice at Tk 60-64 per kg and higher varieties. fines at 68-80 Tk per kg.
The price of a five kg package of Najirshail rice from Pran RFL rose to Tk 480 (Tk 96 per kg), up from a high of Tk 89 per kg a week ago.
The price of BRAC’s Aarong-branded Miniket hit a high of Tk 91 per kg (Tk 455 per five-kg pack), whose previous MRP was Tk 82 per kg, according to Chaldal.com.
Chaldal.com, one of the leading online shopping platforms, also markets own-brand rice.
Its premium Najirshail rice price saw the biggest rise of Tk 10.76 per kg in the past two weeks and was selling at Tk 2,019 per 25 kg pack, according to its website.
ACI, TK, Bangladesh Edible Oil Limited (BEOL) and other consumer goods companies were selling their Miniket and Najirhsial at much higher prices than in traditional markets – Tk 82-90 per kg, depending on the grocery store.
When contacted, Pran-RFL marketing director Kamruzzaman Kamal said he could comment after verifying some information.
He told FE that their cost of producing the Nazirshail variety was Tk 86 per kg. Retailer’s margin, dealer’s margin and marketing costs are added to this. They make a maximum of 8.0 percent profit.
The FE was also trying to reach the officials of Chaldal.com, but was unable to get any comment despite repeated efforts.
Meanwhile, the price of brinjal peaked at Tk 100 per kg, tomato Tk 160 per kg and chilli Tk 180 per kg on Friday, which traders attributed to ongoing flooding in many centers of vegetables.
Onion prices have started to rise with its local variety rising to Tk 45-55 per kg and imported varieties to Tk 55-60 per kg, marking a rise of Tk 5.0-10 per kg in one week.
Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) Secretary Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan said the government has loose control over major consumer goods companies which is the main reason for consumer suffering.
He said the edible oil, wheat flour and sugar markets have become a corporate oligopoly for decades, and the rice market, especially its finer segment, is also dominated by these businesses.
He felt that the price of non-aromatic rice at Tk 90-96 per kg could only be justified when the price of paddy rose to Tk 2,300-2,500 per maund.
During the past two rice growing seasons – the last Aman and the current Boro – prices for the best quality non-aromatic paddy have never exceeded Tk 1,800 per maund.
The government should strictly monitor the market. Apart from the traditional millers and traders, the new big players in the market need strict vigilance to prevent any future crises in the rice market, he added.