Prices of most of the essential commodities usually in high demand ahead of Eid remained stable thanks to adequate supply.
Previously, a section of retailers used to make excessive profit every year when the festival neared, selling such items at much higher prices due to lax government monitoring.
However, the scenario is a bit different this year.
Prices of chicken, beef and mutton have registered a rise at the city kitchen markets yesterday, putting an extra pressure on the middle- and low-income group.
On the other side, prices of most of the vegetables, which have been witnessing an upward trend since the beginning of Ramadan, came down yesterday, giving some relief to those consumers.
The price of battery chicken rose by Tk 5-10 per kg during the last two days. They are now retailed between Tk 170 and Tk 180. Layer hens were being sold at Tk 180 and Tk 190 depending on size. The price of another type of battery chicken (Pakistani origin) went up by Tk 10 per piece.
"Demand for chicken intensifies ahead of Eid which is the main reason for the price hike," said Shamsul Alam, a trader at Farmgate kitchen market.
However, the price of free-range chicken went up by a large margin. "The wholesale price of four pieces of free-range chicken, each weighing around a kg, was Tk 1,250 last week. The price went up to Tk 1,450 today [yesterday]," said Delwar Hossain, manager of Sirajul Islam Chicken Arot (depot).
Price of beef rose by Tk 20 per kg in last two days, selling at Tk 300 to Tk 320 at different markets. Traders at Sukrabad kitchen market said the government had not fixed the price of beef until 25th Ramadan.
"Now we are selling on the basis of the price we buy," said a trader of the market.
Private banker Ahmed Noman expressed his surprise. "It's not fair. The traders hiked the price within the excuse of Eid though there was no supply shortage whatsoever," he said.
The price of mutton climbed up by Tk 10 to Tk 20 a kg. A kg of mutton was selling at Tk 460 to Tk 480.
The price of aubergine and cucumber came down significantly. Retailers at Karwan Bazar told The Daily Star that this was the first time they sold a kg of aubergine at Tk 50 to Tk 60. Last week they sold those for Tk 100 and Tk 120.
Similarly, the price of cucumber also dropped. The price of a kg of cucumber was hovering between Tk 30 and Tk 40, whereas the price was Tk 40 and above last week.
However, the price of tomatoes (best quality) went up to Tk 130 to Tk 140 yesterday from Tk 120 last week.
The price of onion remained stable, surprising many consumers. A kg of locally produced onion and the one imported from India was sold at Tk 40.
Price of brand vermicelli, a major item prepared in Eid, remained stable all through the Ramadan. Now a kg of vermicelli was being sold at between Tk 130 and Tk 140. The price of non-brand vermicelli, however, dropped.
Traders at Karwan Bazar said the price of sugar had been stable for the last few weeks with a kg being sold at Tk 50.
Ginger saw a drop with a kg sold at Tk 140 to Tk 160, while prices of cumin seeds, cardamom, black pepper, raisin, cinnamon, and all types of nuts remained unchanged.