- Finger pointed at spiked carrying cost, low rainfall for fish price hike
- Rice price also sees fresh hike, coarse reaches Tk55 per kg
- Already dearer flour & sugar may jump further within a week
- All vegetables now cost Tk10-Tk30 more than they were a week ago
Fish prices have jumped at least by Tk30 per kg at a time when all the food items are dearer thanks to recent fuel price hike.
The pricier dietary source of protein hurts low-income people the most, as many of them had to switch to cheap tilapia and pangas from now costlier broiler chicken and eggs.
"I used to buy tilapia and pangas, as chicken and egg prices had soared. But now the fishes are also not within the means," Rakibul Islam, a furniture factory worker, told The Business Standard at Panchtola Bazaar in Dhaka's Badda.
Most of the customers at the market are people belonging to the low-income bracket. Therefore, cheap tilapia and pangas were two top selling fishes at the market.
Medium size tilapia is at Tk190-Tk220 per kg, which was at Tk140-Tk170. Small and medium sized pangas which used to be sold at Tk130-Tk140 per kg are now at Tk160-Tk190 per kg.
Rakibul said he now buys 0.5kg of tilapia, while he used to buy 1kg of the fish previously. Besides, he slices the fish thinly to adjust to his family budget for food.
"The rate at which the prices are spiralling, I have no option but to drop some of the foods from the menu every day," he added.
Visiting several kitchen markets in Dhaka, tengra fish was found at Tk700-Tk800 per kg – up from Tk450-Tk650 even a couple of days ago.
Medium sized ruhi fish is now at Tk320-Tk350 per kg, which was at Tk260-Tk280 depending on the market.
Frozen pabda was Tk 400-Tk450 per kg, but fresh pabda was at Tk500-Tk600. Even small fishes that used to be at Tk300-Tk400 per kg are now at Tk450-Tk550.
Fish traders said the fuel price hike has increased their transportation cost. Besides, lowlands – unlike the regular times – did not go under thanks to a lean monsoon this year.
"These altogether affected the fish supply as well as prices," said Shafiqul Islam, a fish trader at Rampura kitchen market.
Another hike in rice prices
After staying at high rates for several days, rice prices ticked up further by Tk3-Tk5 per kg depending on the variety.
Coarse rice is now at Tk54-Tk55 per kg – up from Tk50 a week ago.
According to the state-owned trading corporation, the price of coarse rice has increased by 6% in a week. The price of medium quality BR-28 rice has increased the same – to Tk60-Tk62 per kg from Tk55-Tk58.
"Two days ago, I bought miniket rice at Tk72 per kg. But it is now at Tk75-Tk78," said Arif in Dhaka's Karwanbazar.
Nazirshail, which is known as the best quality rice, was at Tk80-Tk85 per kg.
Rice trader Habibur said that both transportation costs and paddy rates have increased, pushing up the retail prices further.
Apart from rice, flour prices are rising too. Non-brand loose flour, which was at Tk40-Tk45 per kg, is now at Tk50. According to the trading corporation, flour prices have increased by about 16% in a month.
Meanwhile, sugar prices have increased to Tk90 per kg, as traders said it might surge by another Tk5 per kg within a week.
Though the price of green chillies decreased slightly after reaching Tk350 per kg, prices of all types of vegetables have spiked by Tk10-Tk30 per kg.