The prices of vegetables have dropped thanks to increased supply at the kitchen markets in Dhaka a week after Eid as vendors are worried about low customer turnout amid the virus curbs.
The price of bottled soybean oil has dropped by Tk4-5 per litre as mutton and hilsa fish have shot up with the rice price unchanged.
Visiting several markets in the capital on Friday, it was found the prices of most vegetables have dropped.
Prices of various vegetables including brinjal, snake gourd, potato and green papaya have come down by Tk5 to 15 per kg as tomatoes and carrots are still pricier.
Amir Hossain, a vegetable vendor in Kawran Bazar, told The Business Standard that vegetable prices shoot up abruptly, and then come down. The rates were a bit higher last week due to a poor supply. They have to sell at a lower rate now due to the increased supply and rainfall.
Al Amin, another vegetable vendor, told TBS there was an adequate supply of vegetables but the number of buyers was very low owing to the lockdown.
"The sales are good if there are sufficient customers, and we also get good rates. But if the customer turnout is poor, we are forced to sell at a lower price."
According to vegetable traders, ginger and tomatoes are still pricier compared to other vegetables. Carrots, depending on quality, were at Tk90-Tk120 per kilogram and tomatoes at Tk100-Tk130.
Cucumber, pointed gourd, okra, green papaya, radish, bitter gourd, and snake gourd were at Tk30 to Tk50 per kg last week, but those are at Tk20 to Tk30 this week.
Besides, ridge gourd was at Tk30-Tk40 per kg, pointed gourd Tk20 to Tk25, green beans Tk30 to Tk40, green chilli Tk60 to Tk70 and green banana at Tk20 to Tk25 – less by Tk5-Tk15 per kg of last week's rates.
Prices of potatoes, onions, garlic, ginger and other items were unchanged. Potatoes are sold at Tk20-Tk25, local onions at Tk45-Tk50, Indian onions at Tk35-Tk40 and garlic at Tk80-Tk120.
"The market is relatively empty due to the lockdown. Prices have dropped slightly compared to last week," Samiul, a customer, told TBS.
Rui fish are sold at Tk250 to Tk350 per kg, mrigal at Tk200 to Tk250, tilapia at Tk130 to Tk180, pabda at Tk450 to Tk600, and shrimp at Tk500 to Tk700 per kg.
Fish seller Shukkur Ali said the price of hilsa fish was a bit higher than last week although rates of other fishes were unchanged. Customer turnout was still too poor despite the huge supply to the market.
The price of hilsa has shot up by Tk100 per kg. Each hilsa (weighing one kilogram) was at Tk1,100 per kg. The larger ones are sold at Tk1300-Tk1500 per kg, while the smaller ones are at Tk800 to Tk900 per kg.
Besides, broiler chickens are sold at Tk125 to Tk140 per kg, layer chickens at Tk220 to Tk240. Sonalika is sold at Tk200 to Tk240 per kg. Eggs are at Tk90 to Tk85 a dozen.
Sohag, a seller of a broiler chicken store at Karwan Bazar, said sales were very low. He could not sell 20 chickens till noon. In normal periods, more than 100 are sold.
Meanwhile, the price of bottled soybean oil in the grocery market has dropped by Tk 4-5 per liter to Tk 140-145. Loose oil is sold for Tk120-125 per liter.
Fazlul Haque of Barishal Rice House said among the rice, Miniket is sold for Tk60, Atash for Tk50 and Nazir for Tk64-70 per kg. However, there is a poor sale in the last few days.
Roksana Rahman, a buyer, said prices in the grocery market remain the same. However, there is a poor presence of people in the market.
White pea price on the rise in Ctg wholesale market
The price of white peas has increased by Tk150 in one week despite additional stock in Khatungonj wholesale market in Chattogram city.
The traders complained that the importers were manipulating the price of the product to make an extra profit.
At present, white peas are sold for Tk1,230 in the market. The peas imported from Canada were sold for Tk1,082 at the end of last week. Thus, the price has increased by Tk150 in one week.
In Khatunganj, the demand for white peas is after rice and wheat. An average of 800 to 1000 tonnes of peas is sold in this market every day. However, during the Ramadan and monsoon seasons, an average of about 2,000 tonnes of white peas is sold in the market.
White Peas are sold for Tk33 per kg in the market although the cost of import (purchase price and transportation cost) is up to Tk26-Tk27.
Importers have increased the price of the product citing the increase in booking price in the international market even if there is adequate supply here, traders claimed.
Chattogram Lentils (Dal) Mill Owners Association President Sanjay Dev Khokon said wholesalers and small traders are helpless as only a few have control over the pulse market. So, the whole lentils market depends on these few traders.
The administration needs to boost its surveillance in this regard, the veteran businessman said.