Every year, prices of various daily necessities go up during the month of Ramadan but this time onion prices have already started rising even 30 days before the fasting month starts.
People concerned said the price hike is not logical as the onion harvest season has just ended.
Analysing the data of some retail and wholesale markets in the capital and the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), it has been found that one kg of good quality local onion is being sold at Tk50. Some shops are selling onions at Tk45.
Even a week ago, the price was Tk40-45.
The price of imported onions has also increased by Tk15 in a month and is being sold at up to Tk40.
The TCB's market analysis says the price of domestic onions has jumped by 35.71% in the last one month.
Ashraful Alam, a local onion storekeeper in Karwan Bazar, told The Business Standard (TBS), "There is no shortage of onion in the retail and wholesale markets of Dhaka. Local wholesalers are raising the price of onions. So, we have to sell at a higher price."
Consumers said this time the traders may have changed techniques. As there is a lot of discussion on the price hike during Ramadan, they have increased the price beforehand.
Ariful Islam, a private employee who came to the Segunbagicha Kitchen Market, said, "Ramadan is still a month away but rice, oil, onion, chicken, sugar, etc have become expensive already."
On the other hand, rice traders said the price of rice has been rising for more than 1.5 months. At present, one kg of coarse rice costs Tk48-52. A little better quality rice costs Tk58-60. Despite efforts from the government and the private sector to control the market by importing, it has not been possible yet.
Similarly, the price of chicken per kg is now Tk155-160, which was Tk130-135 a month ago.
Besides, the growing prices in the international oil market have created instability in oil prices in the domestic market. To curb the unrest, the government set soybean and palm oil prices in the middle of last month, according to which, bottled soybean oil is being sold at Tk135 per litre and open soybean at Tk115. Palm oil is being sold at TK104 per litre.
However, edible oil traders have proposed a new surge in oil prices, which is being reviewed by the national price monitoring and fixing committee under the Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission. According to the committee, the price of oil in the local market will increase once more.
Meghna Group AGM (Accounts) Md Taslim Shahriar told TBS, "We have proposed to adjust oil prices to the world market. The government is trying to verify that."
Asked about the overall situation, Golam Rahman, president of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh, said, "The government must now try to increase the supply of products quickly, which can help control the market. Otherwise, I don't see any chance to reduce consumer suffering.