Rice prices have started rising, especially the price of coarse rice, which is the most unstable, amid the volatility of onion prices in the retail and wholesale markets.
The price of coarse rice has gone up by Tk3-4 per kg in the last one week, whereas the price of fine rice has also gone up by Tk2 per kg.
A visit to some retail and wholesale markets in Dhaka reveals that local onions are being sold at Tk80-85 per kg in retail markets, and imported onions at Tk60-70. However, some shops are selling onions at Tk90.
Although the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) is selling onions from trucks at Tk30 per kg and on online platforms at Tk36 per kg, the price of onions in the market is not falling much.
BR-28 rice is being sold as coarse rice in the retail market of Dhaka at Tk48-50 per kg, up from Tk45-46. Besides, Paijam rice is being sold as medium-quality fine rice at a maximum price of Tk50 per kg, up by Tk2 per kg. And, among fine rice, Miniket is being sold at Tk57-60 which was earlier between Tk55-58 per kg.
Md Rashedul Islam, a rice seller at Allahr Dan Rice Agency in Karwan Bazar, said, "There is a shortage of Swarna and Paijam rice in the market, and BR-28 is being sold as coarse rice. That is why the price of BR-28 has increased by Tk3-4 per kg in one week.
Rice sellers say prices have risen at the retail level as millers have raised prices.
When asked, Layek Ali, general secretary of the Bangladesh Auto Major and Husking Mill Owners Association, said, "The price of paddy is now Tk1,050-1,100. If the price of paddy goes up, the price of rice will go up a little."
It is learned that before the instability in the onion market started, the price of rice increased three times.
Faridul Islam, a customer who came to shop at a grocery store in Farmgate, said, "The government does not have much monitoring in the market. Traders are doing whatever they want. After onion traders, it's the rice traders who have become crazy. All the pressure is on ordinary people like us."
In different markets in the capital, the prices of food items bought by low-income people are more volatile. Open soybean oil prices have risen to Tk92-93 per litre. According to TCB's market analysis, the price has gone up by about 8% in a month.
At the same time, the price of garlic has gone up too. Garlic is Tk90-100 per kg, which was Tk80-90 a week ago.
The price of medium-quality Masoor lentil is up by more than Tk5 per kg. Masoor lentil of this quality is being sold at Tk80-85 which was Tk75-80 until recently.