Poster in Jan 04, 2024 02:34:05

Prices of onion, garlic and cumin doubled in one year ​

Prices of onion, garlic and cumin doubled in one year ​

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The market for staples like rice, pulses and oil is stable at higher prices. Along with fish, meat and eggs, the prices of vegetables have also gone up in the market this year. In this, compared to last year, buyers have to buy spices like onion-garlic and cardamom cloves at higher prices. The prices of cardamom, cloves and garlic have increased again in the last week. Most of the spices in the market are import-dependent.

Different types of spices are available in the market. Among them, this reporter has found the price of 11 types of spices. These spices include onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, cloves, coriander, bay leaves and dry chilies. The prices of these spices in the market have increased from a minimum of 4 percent to a maximum of 127 percent in the last year. A price increase of more than 100 percent means doubling the price. Among the mentioned 11 types of spices, according to TCB, prices of onion and garlic have doubled in a year. And the price of cumin has almost doubled. The prices of the rest of the spices have increased by 4 to 87 percent. Last year there was no change in the price of spices except bay leaves. Although the use of bay leaf in cooking is not much.

After visiting the market, the most expensive spices in the market are cardamom and cloves. The price of these two spices ranges from a minimum of 1,700 to a maximum of 3,000 taka per kg. In the last week, the prices of these two spices have increased from Tk 100 to Tk 400 per kg. Among these, the price of cardamom has increased by Tk 400 per kg and the price of cloves has increased by Tk 100 to Tk 200 in a week. Apart from this, the price of garlic has also increased. The price of the product increased by Tk 20 to Tk 40 in a week and now Tk 220 to Tk 260 per kg.

Among the spicy products, onions, garlic and turmeric are most commonly used in home cooking in the country. Apart from this, other spices are also used more or less to make the cooking delicious. Most of the spices in the country are dependent on imports. Due to this, if there is any impact on the imports, the prices of these products in the country start to increase. A great example of this has recently been seen in the market in the case of onions. As India stopped onion export last December, the country's market jumped to Tk 200 per kg overnight. But that price has reduced a bit and is now being sold at 80-90 taka per kg. Domestic onion is selling more in the market now. Even a year ago, the price of desi onion was Tk 30-45 per kg.

Spice importers say that due to the dollar crisis, they are now struggling to open import credit cards. Again, as the price of the dollar has increased in the last year, the cost of imports has also increased. Which has an impact on retail sales. However, traders say that the sale of various types of masala products has also decreased due to the increase in prices.

President of Bangladesh Wholesale Garam Masala Traders Association. Enayet Ullah told Prothom Alo that almost all spices are imported. The price of some spices has gone up by up to 50 percent due to the increase in the value of the dollar, among other reasons. After importing at higher prices, taxation is being done on that price. It naturally increases the price of spices in the retail market.

According to the market price list of the government agency Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) yesterday, cumin is sold at Tk 950 to Tk 1,100 per kg in the market. A year ago this price was 500 to 570 taka. As a result, the price of cumin has almost doubled in one year. During this time the prices of cardamom and cloves also increased significantly. A kg of small cardamom is now Tk 2,200 to Tk 3,000. A year ago this price was 1 thousand 600 to 2 thousand 800 taka. Apart from this, the price of cloves has increased by Tk 400 per kg in a year to a maximum of Tk 1,800. The prices of cardamom and cloves have increased again in the last one week.

Among spices, cinnamon prices were comparatively lower year-on-year, up 4 percent. Apart from this, the price of coriander has increased by Tk 100 or 69 percent and is sold at Tk 230 to Tk 260 per kg. Bay leaf is being sold at the same price as a year ago, Tk 150 to Tk 200 per kg.

According to TCB's calculations, the prices are still high even after the new onion has come to the market. The price of garlic has also increased along with onion. A year ago, imported garlic was Tk 110 to Tk 130, now it is Tk 220 to Tk 240. New garlic has been planted in the country. But it is not yet on the market. So the market is dependent on imported garlic.

The price of ginger, turmeric and dry chili has also increased. The majority of the ginger market is import-dependent. Turmeric and dry chilies are produced in the country but have to be imported to meet the demand. Imported ginger is currently selling at Tk 200 to Tk 250 per kg in the market. A year ago this price was 90 to 150 taka. Desi turmeric is being sold at Tk 280 to Tk 350, a year ago the price of this spice was Tk 220 to Tk 250. And a kg of dry chili is 390 to 450 taka, a year ago it was 370 to 400 taka.

According to the National Board of Revenue (NBR) data, the import of spices (excluding onion, ginger and garlic) in the fiscal year 2022-23 was more than 1 lakh 76 thousand tonnes. In the financial year 2021-22, 1 lakh 46 thousand tons were imported. As such, more than 30 thousand tons of spices have been imported within a year.

Opening a letter of credit (LC) in the case of spice import is now a big problem, said the president of the Moulvibazar Traders Association. Bashir Uddin He told Prothom Alo, that earlier LC could be opened by paying 10 to 20 percent in the bank. Now it isn't easy to open the loan. He thinks that the market will be stable if the loans are opened easily.

Source: Online/GFMM

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