Prices of most essential commodities increased further at different kitchen markets in the capital largely due to heavy rainfall across the country and flooding in northern districts.
Prices of onion, garlic, ginger, egg, different spices and vegetables, including green chilli, brinjal, and potato saw further hike in the span of a week, putting more pressure on the wallets of the consumers.
Essential prices have been on an upward trend over the last few weeks, but the latest spell has put the common people, especially the low, middle and fixed income groups in a dire state.
Traders said many vegetable fields were damaged by rainfall and flooding across the country in the last few weeks.
Market insiders, however, said syndicates of big traders are manipulating the prices of essentials, targeting windfall profits ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.
A supply crunch of vegetable heat up the kitchen markets in the capital and elsewhere in the country, sending prices of essentials up to 102 percent higher in August than July, according to a data of Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).
Onion prices shot up by 90-102 percent, 15 kinds of vegetables by 50-100 per cent, chili by 110 percent, garlic by 20 per cent, riverine fish except Hilsa by 20-30 percent, local chicken by 10 percent, cardamom by 8 percent, cinnamon by 5 percent and bay leaf price by 3 percent on Friday than the previous weeks, according to the data of TCB and Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM).
Crop loss in more than 26 districts due to heavy rain and floods affected the supply of vegetables while waterlogging and nagging traffic in some wholesale hubs like Chittagong, Jessore and Dinajpur are also disrupting the supply chain, traders said. On the other hand, a rise in import prices has pushed up the prices of some essentials, said the traders.
Abdul Malek, a vegetable trader at Mohammadpur market, said most of the vegetables were selling at Tk 50-60 a kg while green chilli price soared to Tk 160 a kg on Friday.
Nurul Islam, an onion importer, said a price hike in India is responsible for the rise in onion prices on the local market.Masud Mahmud, a trader in Karwan Bazar, said onion price had increased significantly at the wholesale level in the last two weeks.
He also said heavy rainfall is hampering transportation, which is responsible for the hike in local onion prices.
Imtiaz Ahmed, a private service holder, told daily sun that prices of most of the commodities, including spices and vegetables have been increasing over the last few weeks.
“Fixed-income people like us are facing the hardship due to the indiscriminate price hike of essentials,” he said.