Buying and selling of rice at mill gates and wholesale markets dropped in last four days as retail-level traders were not buying the staple food that much from wholesalers as they had bought huge quantity of rice from the source at the onset of the latest rice price hike early this month, rice mill owners and traders said.
Mill owners claimed that despite a decrease in the prices of rice in last four days the sales of the item dropped by almost 70 per cent and the stock of unsold rice had been increasing in the large-scale rice mills across the country.
Wholesalers said that retail-level traders were not now buying rice that much as they had bought the item in large quantity at the onset of the latest rice price hike.
‘Our sales decreased by at least 70 per cent in last four days and we have informed the local administration that the stock of rice is becoming bigger due to lack of buyers,’ KM Layek Ali, secretary of the Bangladesh Auto Major and Husking Mill Owners Association, told New Age on Saturday.
He said that the prices of Miniket and BR-28 rice decreased by Tk 2-3 a kilogram following a meeting of the government with rice traders and importers on September 19 but millers were not getting response from wholesalers.
Before the fall, rice prices had increased by Tk 8-10 a kg in 10 days.
Layek, also the owner of Madina Rice Mills in Joypurhat, said that government should investigate how the market demand was being met without buying rice from mills.
Sayed Monirul Islam, proprietor of Barishal Rice Agency at Mohammadpur Krishi Bazar in the city, said that the prices of all varieties of rice decreased on the market but buying and selling were going at a very slow pace.
‘We can’t take fresh supply from rice mills before selling our present stock but the retail-level traders were not buying rice for last few days as they had bought the item in large quantity early this month in fear of further price increase,’ he said.
Monirul said that the coarse varieties of rice Sawrna and Ratna, imported from India, decreased by Tk 5-6 a kg on the wholesale market and the varieties were traded at Tk 44 a kg and Tk 47 a kg respectively on Saturday.
He said that consumers would have to wait until the present stock of rice at retail-level shops was finished to get benefit of the price fall.
Md Sohidur Rahman Patwary, vice-president of the Bangladesh Auto Major and Husking Mill Owners Association, said that they had been suffering from over production of rice for couple of days as sales of the staple decreased by more than 70 per cent.
‘We have been forced to cut our production due to lack of buyers and consequently the prices of paddy have also decreased on the market by Tk 100 a mound (40 kilograms),’ he said.