- Potato prices rose to Tk60 per kg, Tk10 more than last week
- After a slight fall, egg prices increased again to Tk13 apiece
- locally produced onions now selling for Tk110 per kg
Even a month and a half after the government imposed price caps on potatoes, onions and eggs, their prices showed no signs of declining.
On the contrary, some are even seeing price hikes.
A visit to several kitchen markets in the capital on Friday morning revealed that shops continue to sell these items at significantly inflated prices.
In the kitchen market, locally produced onions are selling for Tk110 per kg, Tk10 more than last week.
Meanwhile, Indian onions, despite being regulated by the government at Tk64-65 per kg, are being sold at higher rates, ranging from Tk85-90.
Similarly, the price of potatoes has risen to Tk60 per kg, Tk10 more than last week, despite the government's fixed rate of Tk35-36 per kg.
Although egg prices slightly decreased, it again rose to around Tk13 apiece.
Additionally, the price of broiler chickens has increased by Tk10 per kg, now being sold at Tk200-210 per kg.
The market analysis of the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) indicates that after price regulations, the price of onions had decreased to Tk75-80, eggs to Tk12-12.50, and potatoes to Tk45.
However, within the past month, the prices have surged by 30% for onions, 5.10% for eggs, and 12% for potatoes.
"The government made attempts to boost the supply and conducted market monitoring. However, these efforts to increase the supply were unsuccessful, rendering the monitoring ineffective. If ensuring an adequate supply had been prioritised before monitoring, it would have been more beneficial," said Golam Rahman, president of the Consumer Association of Bangladesh (CAB), in a conversation with TBS.
He emphasised, "Implementing measures like price regulations proves futile without a secure supply. This strategy hasn't been successful here either; instead of declining, prices have persistently risen."
Egg, onion imports
In discussions with traders and market monitors, it has been known that the government has maintained the import of onions.
However, the imported onions are now being sold at Tk80, a significant increase from the previous price range of Tk55-65 just a month ago.
Despite the permission to import 150 million eggs, not a single imported egg has reached the country even after a month.
The imported eggs would reach the country within three to four days, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said during a TCB event on 15 October.
At that moment, seven importers confirmed they obtained Letters of Credit (LC) for egg imports. However, several have elapsed, and no eggs have arrived.
"Exporters from other countries need to provide certificates confirming the absence of Avian Influenza or Bird Flu virus and harmful bacteria. It has been reported that import complexities have arisen due to the certificate requirements," highlighted the commerce minister.
Due to this complexity, the import process has become uncertain.
These price hikes come at a time when the prices of various vegetables and fish have already surged in the market.
Vegetables are now unavailable below the range of Tk80-100, with eggplant prices soaring to over Tk120 in the market.
Additionally, despite concerns raised by the Cold Storage Association regarding reduced potato production, the government has not acknowledged this issue.
"Even though the government has provided information indicating a potato production of over 10 million tonnes this year, potato production has not exceeded 8-8.5 million tonnes in reality," said Mostafa Azad Choudhury, president of the Cold Storage Association.
According to the Tariff Commission, the annual demand for potatoes is nearly 9 million tonnes, which is higher than the current supply.
Consumers Association of Bangladesh President Golam Rahman said, "The government has taken some measures, but their implementation has shown shortcomings in their effectiveness."
Meanwhile, Haji Mohammad Mazed, a trader and importer of onions in Shyambazar, stated, "Rising prices and the dollar crisis have made imports extremely challenging. There is also a slight decrease in supply within the country. That's why controlling onion prices has become difficult."