12:00 AM, March 19, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 19, 2008

Rice price keeps on spiralling up

Edible oil, sugar prices climb down

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Staff Correspondent

Prices of rice rose further on both retail and wholesale markets in the capital during the last couple of days while prices of edible oil and sugar continued to fall throughout the week following a sharp rise a couple of weeks earlier.
The prices of coarse rice -- Indian Swarna and Ratna -- rose by Tk 60 to Tk 70, selling from Tk 1,180 to Tk 1,230 per maund (37.32 kg) at the wholesale markets yesterday, while prices of all sorts of local rice also shot up by Tk 40 to Tk 50 a maund.
In the last two days, the prices of rice increased by Tk 1 to Tk 2 per kg at retail markets. Coarse rice -- both Indian and local -- was selling at Tk 32 to Tk 35 per kg yesterday, whereas coarse rice was sold at Tk 31 to Tk 33 two days back. Fine rice was selling at Tk 43 to Tk 45 a kg yesterday. It was sold at Tk 42 to Tk 43 two days ago.
Meanwhile, wholesale markets in the city witnessed a huge shortage in Indian coarse rice yesterday. Wholesalers blamed the ongoing poor supply of the rice for the crisis.
A number of rice traders who had been stockpiling rice during this period are now taking advantage of the shortage and making an additional income of Tk 200 on each 50-kg sack of rice, they alleged.
The price of Minikate (medium quality) also leapt to Tk 1550 from Tk 1500 per maund while prices of other varieties of fine rice also increased on wholesale markets.
Wholesalers at Babubazar, Badamtoli and Mohammadpur Krishi Market and Karwan Bazar in the capital blamed poor supply of various types of Indian rice for the ongoing price hike.
Even though the supply of local varieties of rice is sufficient in the markets in the capital, the price hike of local rice is due to the influence of the rising prices of Indian coarse rice, they said.
A private firm employee who was shopping for rice at Karwan Bazar was visibly frustrated. "Where should we go? It seems nobody has the control over the market and the traders are jacking up the price any way they please," he said.
“I purchased Minikate rice at Tk 42 two days ago, but today the price of same rice has jumped to Tk 44," he added.
The prices of edible oil and sugar continued to drop on both retail and wholesale markets during the last week after witnessing skyrocketing prices a week ago.
A kg of non-brand soybean oil sold at Tk 106 to Tk 108 at retail markets yesterday. It was sold at Tk 120 to Tk 130 a week ago.
A kg of palm oil and super palm oil was selling from Tk 95 to Tk 100 yesterday while the price was Tk 110 a week back.
Wholesalers at Moulvibazar and Karwan Bazar said the prices of soybean and palm oil plummeted to Tk 350 to Tk 400 per maund within a week.
They said price fall of edible oil on the international market resulted the price decline in the country.
A kg of sugar was selling at Tk 38 to Tk 40 per kg yesterday while it was sold at Tk 41 to Tk 42 three days back. Price of 50 kg sack of sugar came down to Tk 1820 from Tk 2000.

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