The retail price of bleaching power in Chattogram almost tripled over the past month due to a rise in demand for disinfectants following the coronavirus outbreak.
The wholesale price of the product has also doubled at the Chaktai-Khatunganj market.
Yesterday, wholesale traders were found selling each 50-kg drums of bleaching powder at Tk 3,800 to Tk 3,900, up from Tk 1,850 at the beginning of March.
The 25-kg drums were priced at Tk 1,850 to Tk 1,950 while it was Tk 950 just last month.
Retail prices for the disinfectant hovered between Tk 100 and Tk 110 per kilogramme in Khatunganj, where over 15 wholesalers and retailers were seen selling bleaching powder.
Retailers in Chawkbazar, Kazir Dewri and Bahaddarhat Bazar area are currently selling the product at Tk 120 to Tk 140 per kilogramme, up from a maximum of Tk 40 per kilogramme a month ago.
The demand for bleaching powder has increased by about 20-fold in the last three weeks, Rashed Hossain, a worker at Makhan Lal Bonik shop in Khatunganj, told The Daily Star.
The demand for bleaching powder has increased all over the world, said Arif Hossain, a Chattogram-based importer, who regularly buys the product from India.
"It had previously been used at tanneries, hospitals and various factories. But now it is used almost everywhere, including homes, offices and shops as a disinfectant against Covid-19," he said.
Bleaching powder is needed every day to disinfect various objects in clinics, said Ariful Islam, an employee of a private clinic, who came to Khatunganj to buy bleaching powder.
"But for the past two weeks, we have been facing a shortage of the powder," he added.