Spice price shoots up ahead of Eid
With Eid approaching, the spice market has stocked up on consumer goods. However, even though the wholesale market is somewhat stable in terms of the price of spices, retailers are selling the products to consumers at a higher margin.
Visiting the country's largest wholesale market for consumer goods at Khatunganj, this correspondent found that Indian cumin -- a staple spice in almost every household -- was being sold at Tk 365 per kg. But even a month ago, the price of this product was Tk 265.
At present, Indian cumin is being sold at Tk 400 per kg in the retail market and Iranian cumin at Tk 480 per kg.
In the wholesale market, Chinese cinnamon is being sold at Tk 310-320 per kg, while Vietnamese cinnamon is being sold at Tk 410 per kg. But the product costs Tk 420 to 500 per kg in the retail market.
At the beginning of Ramadan, the price of Indian cardamom in the wholesale market was Tk 1,510 per kg. Now the wholesale price of cardamom has increased from Tk 1,800 to Tk 2,000. But the retail price of cardamom is Tk 2,200 per kg.
Besides, in the wholesale market, per kg of Hathazari chili costs Tk 270. Sweet cumin costs Tk 220, whereas just a month ago it cost Tk 160. In the retail market, per kg of sweet cumin is being sold at Tk 250-270.
Turmeric is Tk 125 per kg in wholesale and Tk 140 in retail. Wholesale nutmeg costs Tk 800, but in the retail market, it costs a hundred taka more.
Meanwhile, there is a difference in the prices of cloves and raisins. In a month, the price of clove in the wholesale market has gone up from Tk 980 to Tk 1,100. These cloves are being sold in the retail market at a price of Tk 1,200 per kg.
Due to the demand for raisins for making desserts on Eid, its price has increased at both wholesale and retail levels. At the beginning of Ramadan, Indian raisins were sold at Tk 270 and Afghan raisins at Tk 315 in the wholesale market. But now, they are being sold at Tk 310 and Tk 400 per kg respectively. Raisins are being sold at Tk 400 to Tk 450 per kg in the retail market. Nuts are being sold at Tk 150 per kg in the retail market and Tk 120 in wholesale. The same is true for morobba, priced at Tk 180 in retail and Tk 130 in wholesale.
Mizanur Rahman, manager of Haq Bhandari grocery store at Kazir Deuri market in the city, said, "We have nothing to do. Prices have gone up in Chaktai-Khatunganj. So, we also have to sell at a higher price. We are selling at a small profit by calculating the cost of transportation and labour along with the cost price. If the wholesale price is reduced, we'll reduce retail prices as well."
Amal Saha, a wholesale trader in Khatunganj, told The Daily Star that the rise in prices of all products in the international market has also affected the country's wholesale market. Besides, the price of spices has gone up due to increasing demand on the occasion of Eid.