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Spice market heats up after onion price upswing

Published : Thursday, 5 December, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 116

The prices of garlic, ginger and other spices are witnessing a hike in the markets since July this year following the price increase of onion.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Ministry arranged several meetings with stakeholders including importers, wholesalers and discussed what prompted the sudden rise in garlic, ginger and other spice prices. There were no credible reasons on sight although some tried to pass the blame on to rainfall and bad weather.  But these essentials were still sold at high prices.
While visiting different kitchen markets in the capital this correspondent found imported ginger was selling at Tk 160 to Tk 170 per kg, while locally grown ginger was selling at Tk 180 to Tk 200 per kg. It was sold last week at Tk 60 and Tk 70. The ginger price also increased by Tk 100 per kg within a few days.
"Prices of garlic, ginger and some other spices increased recently. Only a wholesaler or an importer knows the reasons behind this price hike," said Ahmed Ali, a retailer at Hatirpool kitchen market.
The price of garlic also increased by Tk 100 to Tk 120 a kg over the last one week. Garlic imported from China was retailing at Tk 140 to Tk 170 per kg, while its local variety was selling for Tk 160 to Tk 180 in the kitchen markets in the
Garlic of imported variety was trading at Tk 140 to Tk 150 per kg and the local variety at Tk 120 to Tk 130 a kg at retail markets, registering a 10 to 19 per cent hike in a week, said state-run
Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).
Abdur Rashid Mithu, a grocer at Dhanmondi Road No 15, told the Daily Observer prices of spices like garlic and ginger witnessed a sharp rise in the last four months at the wholesale markets.
Chinese garlic price increased to Tk 120 a kg at Shyambazar on Wednesday, he mentioned.
Rakib Mahmud, an employee of a non-governmental organization said, "The prices of garlic and ginger are too high for the ordinary people."
He added, "I bought a kg of garlic for Tk 80 last month. But now it was selling Tk 130 per kg."
Ashik Ahmed, a wholesaler of garlic at Shyambazar in Old Dhaka, said garlic prices increased due to a fall in import from China.
Most of the customers want to buy Chinese garlic which is bigger and takes less time to peel, he added.
He said transport costs have increased significantly. Besides, truck drivers prefer to carry sacrificial animals for higher rent.
Importers said they are having difficulty getting huge amounts of onion, garlic and ginger released from the Chattogram Port due to malfunctioning of many cranes in the port.
They urged the government to take steps and repair the cranes as soon as possible to ensure smooth supply of the products.
This year, the prices of most of the spices started to increase in the wholesale market a month before Eid-ul-Azha, a trader said.
The price of cardamom increased by Tk 200 to Tk 300 a kg in last two weeks and the item was selling at Tk 2,600 to Tk 3,000 a kg in the city markets.
The price of cinnamon increased by Tk 50 a kg and the item was selling at Tk 400 a kg in the city markets on Wednesday.
The prices of bay leaf increased by Tk 20 a kg and the item was selling for Tk 100 to Tk 160 a kg in the city.
According to the TCB, the prices of cinnamon increased by 35.38 per cent in last one month while the prices of cardamom increased by 5.77 per cent.
It also showed that the prices of bay leaf increased by 13.04 per cent, local garlic by 36.36 per cent.

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