Consumers in the capital city are getting some relief as the prices of vegetables have decreased thanks to adequate supplies amid the rise in almost all commodity prices.
Most vegetables are being sold in the markets in the capital city at prices between Tk35 and Tk40 per kg, which were between Tk45 and Tk50 a week ago.
However, prices of other essential items, such as flour varieties, pulses, edible oil, rice, powdered milk, etc, have shot up, augmenting the woes of common people faced as they are with increased expenditures triggered by the rising costs of essentials.
On Friday, pointed gourds, Luffa, snake gourds, ladies' fingers and small gourds were selling for Tk40 per kg and potatoes for Tk25 per kg.
Jahangir Hossain, a buyer at Nayatola Bou Bazar, said, "I bought a small gourd for Tk30 and half a kg of shrimp. Moreover, some pointed gourds and wax gourds are at my house. With the shrimp, we can cook the vegetable items for four days."
Pakistani cockerels have slightly become cheaper.
The price of a Pakistani cockerel or Sonali chicken has come down to Tk270 per kg, a decrease by Tk30. The price of this type of chicken has come down by Tk30 per kg in a week. Red eggs are being sold at Tk120 per dozen.
The prices of various kinds of meat, however, have remained static at their previous high when the retailers sold broiler chickens at Tk155-Tk160 per kilogram, beef at Tk650 and mutton at Tk950.
Ali Hossain, a salesperson at Yasin General Store in Karwan Bazar, said prices of oil, sugar and salt had not dropped. Premium quality lentils are sold at Tk130, packet (2kg) flour at Tk110 and packet (2kg) maida at Tk142.
Moreover, powdered milk price has shot up by Tk50-Tk60 per kg (prices varying according to brands).
Mohammad Shahadat, a salesperson at Tuhin General Store at Karwan Bazar, told The Business Standard (TBS) powdered milk has become dear again in a span of one month. Bottled cooking oil is being sold at Tk205 per litre and five litre bottles at Tk1,000.
Md Mohsin at Siraj and Sons in Karwan Bazar, said the price of rice has increased by Tk400 per sack in the last two months. It is an unprecedented rise in rice prices. BR-28 now sells at Tk2,700 per sack (50 kg) while earlier it was Tk2,300. BR-28 rice is priced at Tk54, Najir at Tk55-Tk80. Miniket is being sold at Tk66-Tk70.
Mohammad Hashem, a buyer at Karwan Bazar, said, "Prices of daily essentials have shot up, but income has not increased. As vegetable prices drop, we are having more vegetables and less rice."
However, prices of cinnamon, cardamom and other spices have remained stable till now. Ahead of Eid-ul-Azha prices of spices usually register a rise.
Traders said everyone except the affluent has now reduced purchases. Sales have dropped by half.
Visiting the markets, The Business Standard found that the price of rice even in the Boro season has not come down.