Traders raise sugar, garlic prices to record highs

Staff Correspondent | Published at 10:40pm on May 30, 2017

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A file photo shows a man taking sugar from a sack for weighing at a shop in the capital Dhaka. The prices of sugar and garlic have surged to record highs at Tk 82 a kilogram and Tk 400 a kg respectively in the city markets as traders have increased the prices of daily essentials excessively in recent weeks. — New Age photo

The prices of sugar and garlic have surged to record highs at Tk 82 a kilogram and Tk 400 a kg respectively in the city markets as traders have increased the prices of daily essentials excessively in recent weeks.
Belying the commerce minister Tofail Ahmed’s repeated assurances that the commodity prices would remain stable during Ramadan, the prices of sugar and garlic rose twice in the city markets after the start of the fasting month for the Muslims on Sunday.
On May 23, the commerce minister had said that there was no reason to increase the prices of essentials as the stock of Ramadan commodities including sugar, gram, pulse, edible oil, onion and garlic remained much higher than the demand for the items.
‘I want to assure and to give you the guarantee that the prices of essentials will not increase in the month of Ramadan,’ Tofail had said.
However, the price of sugar increased by Tk 5 a kg on Monday after a Tk 2 rise on Sunday, the first day of Ramadan. Sugar was selling at Tk 80-82 a kg in the city market on Tuesday.
The price of sugar rose by Tk 7 a kg in last one week while the price of the item surged by Tk 17-18 a kg in last one month.
Retailers said that delayed delivery by the sugar refinery companies created a supply shortage of the product at the market.
Some wholesalers alleged that the mill authorities were issuing two types of supply orders — current SO and normal SO — to the traders.
Those who are buying current SOs at high prices are receiving delivery of sugar within a short time while the delivery to the traders who are buying normal SOs are taking more than one month, they said.
A mobile court run by the Dhaka North City Corporation on Tuesday fined Ibrahim Store, a wholesale shop of sugar at Karwan Bazar, Tk 2 lakh for charging extra price for sugar.
During the drive of the mobile court, Ibrahim Store could not provide any valid money receipt for buying sugar from factory.
The mobile court also fined 10 other shopkeepers at the Karwan Bazar kitchen market for not keeping price list at their shops.
The price of imported garlic increased by Tk 50-80 a kg in last two days and the price of the item hit a record high at TK 370-400 a kg on Tuesday.
On Sunday, the price of imported garlic had increased by Tk 70 a kg.
The price of imported garlic increased by Tk 140-150 a kg in last one week.
On Tuesday, the price of onion increased by Tk 5 a kg and its local variety was selling at Tk 30-38 a kg in the city markets.
The prices of other daily essentials, including rice, vegetables, gram and pulse became costlier in recent weeks.