The prices of rice, pulse, onions, garlic, potatoes and eggs went up in the city kitchen markets over the week ending Friday.
Market sources said that traders raised the prices of all of the essential commodities in the city markets over the week, taking the advantage of people’s fears over coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Despite assurances from the government that there was ample supply of essential commodities on the market, city’s kitchen markets and superstores witnessed a huge rush of buyers over the week.
Panic buying of essential commodities started in the city markets on March 8 following the detection of the first coronavirus cases in the country.
City’s commodity markets witnessed an elevated level of panic buying on Wednesday after Bangladesh confirmed the first death from COVID-19 in the country.
Using the global disaster as a pretext, the country’s businesses of essential commodities increased the prices of all of the essential commodities in the market, putting the day labourers into sufferings.
The prices of rice increased by Tk 5 a kilogram in the city markets over the week.
The standard variety of BR-28 rice was selling for Tk 44-46 a kg and the fine variety for Tk 50-55 a kg in the capital on Friday.
The fine variety of Miniket rice was selling for Tk 60-65 a kg in the city markets on Friday.
The fine variety of Najirshail rice was retailing at Tk 62-68 a kg and its standard variety at Tk 58-60 a kg.
Zakir Hossain, a salesperson at Hazi Mizan Store at Karwan Bazar Kitchen market, told New Age that they had faced a huge rush of buyers over the week.
He said that people were buying mostly rice, atta, edible oil, salt and sugar in large quantities and stockpiling the items for at least one month.
The prices of onions increased by Tk 30 a kg while garlic prices went up by Tk 20-30 a kg over the week ending Friday in the city markets.
Onions were selling for Tk 70-80 a kg and imported garlic for Tk 170-180 a kg while the local-variety garlic was selling for Tk 130-140 a kg on the day.
Narayan Chandra Saha, a wholesaler at Shyambazar in Old Dhaka, said that the prices of onions and garlic started increasing from Wednesday due to a sudden increase of demand for the items.
He said that it was the sign of panic buying and the prices would decline shortly.
The prices of potatoes and red lentil increased by Tk 5 a kg in the city markets over the week.
The coarse variety of red lentil was selling for Tk 65-70 a kg while the medium-quality variety was selling for Tk 85 a kg.
Potatoes were selling for Tk 25 a kg in the city market on Friday.
Aubergine was selling for Tk 40-60 a kg, papaya for Tk 35-40 a kg, bitter gourds for Tk 80-90 a kg, okra for Tk 70-80 a kg, bottle gourds for Tk 40-50 apiece, cucumber for Tk 20-30 a kg, carrot for Tk 30-40 a kg and tomatoes for Tk 30-40 a kg on Friday.
Green chilli was selling for Tk 60-80 a kg on the day.
The price of unpacked soya bean oil was selling for Tk 92-94 a litre and palm oil was selling for Tk 86 a litre in the city markets on Friday.
The price of bottled soya bean oil (a one-litre container) was selling for Tk 105-115 while five-litre container was selling for Tk 490-520 in the city markets.
The prices of sugar remained high and the refined sugar was selling for Tk 68-70 a kg, while the locally produced sugar was retailing at Tk 70 a kg in the city markets.
Red chilli was selling for Tk 260-300 a kg in the city markets. Turmeric was selling for Tk 160-260 a kg on Friday.
The price of broiler chicken remained unchanged over the week and the item was selling for Tk 115-130 a kg in the city markets on Friday. The locally bred hens were selling for Tk 500 a kg.
Beef was selling for Tk 550-570 a kg while mutton was selling for Tk 750-800 a kg on Friday in the city markets.
The prices of fish remained high in the city markets over the week.
Rohita was selling for Tk 250-350 a kg and Katla for Tk 250-350 a kg, depending on their size and quality.
Pangas was selling for Tk 130-180 a kg and Tilapia for Tk 120-160 a kg.
The price of eggs increased by Tk 4-6 a hali (four pieces) and the item was selling for Tk 38-40 a hali on Friday.
Fine-quality packaged salt was selling for Tk 35 a kg, while the refined variety of salt was retailing at Tk 25 a kg.
The prices of powdered milk remained high in the city markets over the week.
The price of Dano increased to Tk 620-640 a kg from Tk 600-610 a kg, that of Marks rose to Tk 535-555 a kg from Tk 500-520 a kg and that of Diploma (New Zealand) increased to Tk 620-630 a kg from Tk 590-610 a kg in the city markets.
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