Even though prices of almost all necessary commodities went up at the beginning of the ongoing lockdown and Ramadan, some products have seen their price drop in the last one week following a drop in sales due to limited movement of people amid the lockdown.
A lack of supply doubled the prices of aubergine, cucumber and other vegetables in early Ramadan but traders claim that prices of other essential commodities have declined or are at a tolerable level as the supply has been normal for the last few days.
Meanwhile, prices of fruits including watermelon, muskmelon and lemon, which are most in-demand during Ramadan, are increasing due to low supply against high demand.
People concerned said prices of daily necessities increased at the beginning of Ramadan because people bought more rice, pulses, onions, sugar and oil than they needed.
However, buyers complained that vegetables prices had doubled or tripled at the beginning of the lockdown. Even after an increase in supply, the prices did not go down rather prices of some products continued to go up, they further added.
Prices of some vegetables went down in several markets in the capital, including Karwan Bazar, Hatirpul, Kanthal Bagan, Farmgate and Magbazar on Friday.
At several markets in the capital, aubergines were sold at Tk70-80 a kg, down from Tk120 and cucumber was sold at Tk40-50, down from Tk80. The price of tomatoes was Tk30-40 per kg which was Tk50-60 one week ago. Per kg of snake gourd was sold at Tk60-70, drop from Tk80-90.
However, price of one kg of green chilli has gone up to Tk60 from Tk40 and lemon was sold at Tk50-150 which was Tk25-100.
Prices of beef and mutton are stable but chicken has dropped in the markets. There are very few buyers in the meat market and the shopkeepers claimed that people are not able to come to the shops due to lockdown.
Jahangir Alam of Satata Chicken Warehouse said that prices have come down in the last two to three days because distant customers do not come. As the sales are low and prices are low too. When the lockdown ends, the price may go up.
Broiler chicken was sold at Tk130 that was Tk150-160 per kg, Pakistani chicken price dropped from Tk270-280 to Tk240 per kg, layer chicken from Tk220-230 to Tk200 per kg. The local chicken was being sold at Tk550-600 per kg which was at Tk600.
Egg prices have also come down and a dozen red eggs were being sold at Tk80, a decline from Tk90-95. The price of dozen of duck eggs decreased to Tk120 from Tk135 and a dozen domestic chicken eggs are being sold at Tk140 which was Tk170 earlier.
Prices of groceries have not increased and rice traders said the price of rice was supposed to decline by now but it has not due to low supply amid the lockdown. Rice prices will come down a bit next month or at the end of Ramadan as new rice comes on the market.
Nur Hossain of Badshah Rice Agency said there are very few customers so he is bringing less rice than he does usually.
A buyer at Karwan Bazar named Idris Ali said, "Traders suddenly doubled the price of a product on the pretext of the lockdown but when it is reduced, it is reduced by Tk5-10 only, which is a kind of oppression on the public."
Mentioning that the price of vegetables has more than doubled from the normal time, buyer Tasnuva Khanam said that the prices of everything have gone up since the start of Ramadan and lockdown. The decline of price by Tk2-4 is not significant at all.
Jasim Uddin, a vegetable seller in Karwan Bazar, said that kitchen market prices are volatile. We make a profit of Tk5-10 after buying from wholesale warehouses.
Wholesale traders in Karwan Bazar said that the price will be a little lower if the trucks arrive on time. It is often seen that prices are high in Dhaka but farmers cannot sell their produce.
Meanwhile, the prices of all kinds of fruits have gone up even before the start of Ramadan. That price has risen further.
The prices of watermelon, apple, orange, grape and banana have gone up. A dozen of bananas were sold between Tk60-140, wood apple at Tk80-140 each, guava at Tk70 100 per kg and pineapple at Tk25-60 each.
Watermelon prices have risen the most. Before Ramadan, watermelons were sold at Tk25-35 per kg, but now they are being sold at Tk55-65 per kg. Muskmelon was sold at Tk70-80 per kg.
Besides, the prices of green apples have risen from Tk180 to Tk200, grapes from Tk180-250 to Tk200-300, orange from Tk100-150 to Tk300.
Watermelon seller Samiul said that now the shipment is less so the price has gone up. Meanwhile, the buyer also decreased and so did the price.
The fish market is also very stable but the number of buyers has decreased.
Fish seller Shahidul Alam said sales are very low because people do not come. The prices are the same as before, he claimed.