Rice prices maintain upward trend on retail market

August 31, 2013

The prices of rice on the city’s retail markets are maintaining an upward trend, despite decrease of wholesale prices. Wholesalers and traders are blaming each others for the higher prices of rice. Mill owners urged the government to find out those who are behind the price hike of rice on the city’s markets.
The prices of all varieties of rice increased by Tk 3-5 a kg two days before Eid-ul-Fitr due to supply dearth. After the celebration of Eid, the supply of rice became normal but the prices did not come down.
Fine varieties of miniket and najirshail rice were selling at Tk 46-Tk 48 a kg and Tk 52-Tk 54 a kg respectively, BR-28 at between Tk 40 and Tk 45 a kg and coarse varieties at Tk 35 a kg on the city’s retail markets on Friday.
A number of retailers, while talking to New Age, alleged that rice mill owners and wholesalers increased the prices of rice through creating artificial crisis for gaining extra money.
The retailers never want to lose any customer by charging extra price of products as the customers have options to crosscheck the real prices in other stores, Mizanur Rahman, a retailer at Karwan Bazar, said.
He said it was easy for the wholesalers to manipulate the market as a few businesses were controlling the wholesale market of rice in the city.
Nizam Uddin, secretary of Babubazar Chaul Arotdar Samiti, blamed retailers for high prices of rice.
He said the wholesale prices of rice decreased by Tk 1-Tk1.5 a kg in last week but the retail prices remained high.
Nizam said recently a huge quantity of rice came to Bangladesh from India through smuggling as the value of the Indian rupee deprecated against the US dollar.
The retailers are responsible for the high prices of rice because despite the decrease of wholesale prices and increasing supply they are charging high prices, he said.
Selim Uddin, a wholesaler at Badamtoli Babubazar, said he sold fine varieties of miniket at Tk 42-Tk 43 a kg and BR-28 at Tk 34-Tk 35 a kg on Friday.
Abdul Mazid Bablu, president of the Kushtia Rice Mill Owners Association, said the prices of rice had increased before Eid due to inclement weather like incessant rainfall.
The prices have already been decreased after Eid and now the mill owners are selling the fine varieties of miniket at Tk 40 a kg and BR-28 at Tk 34 a kg, he said.
He blamed city traders for undue high prices of rice and said, ‘The government has to monitor the markets and must find out those who are behind the market manipulation.’

-With New Age input

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