Mahfuz Emran: After being stable for several months, the main food grain rice has come up in the price hike list. A sack (50 kg) has increased up to Tk 300 in the space of a week. It has increased from Tk 4 to Tk 7 per kg in retail. After other products, the price of rice has increased and the buyers are under great pressure.
Traders are making various arguments behind the price increase. Retailers say mill owners and large stockiest are taking the opportunity to impose tariffs on Indian rice exports. They are raising prices by creating artificial crisis. Apart from this, transport fares have increased due to the blockade. This has affected the price. Millers, on the other hand, say that stocks are running out at the field level. For that the market is a bit extra. After a couple of weeks, new rice will emerge. Then the rice market will be normal.
However, the government is saying that the information about the increase in prices is not completely correct even though the picture of price increase has been seen in various districts of the country including Dhaka. The price of rice is under full control.
How much increase?
On August 26, India imposed a 20 percent tariff on rice exports. In this, the rice market in the world market became hot. At that time, the government officials and rice mill owners and traders were assured that due to the good yield, the stock of paddy and rice at the public and private levels was sufficient. Aman will rise before this move is over. So, there is no need to import, the price will not increase.
But that assurance is now ‘stolen’. The price of all types of rice in the market has increased sharply. Last Monday and Tuesday, it was seen that the price of BR-28 rice increased the most in Moghbazar, Mohakhali, Tejkunipara and Karwan markets of the capital. There are many buyers of this rice in the market. At the retail level, a kg of this type of rice is being sold at Tk 56 to Tk 58.8 to 10 days ago, the price of this rice was Tk 50 to Tk 52. That is, the price per kg has increased by Tk 6. At the retail level last week coarse rice (Golden and China Irri) was Tk 48 to Tk 50 per kg. Now selling at Tk 52 to Tk 55. This quality rice has increased by Tk 4 to Tk 5 per kg.
Five to six days ago the price of miniket or narrow rice also increased. A kg of this type of rice is now Tk 68 to Tk 72 depending on the standard.
So far this type of rice has been sold at Tk 62 to Tk 65. This type of rice has increased by Tk 6 to Tk 7 per kg. Apart from this, Nazirshail rice has increased by Tk 5 per kg and is being sold at Tk 70 to Tk 75.
Government agency Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) data says that the price of fine rice has increased by 2.27 per cent, medium rice by about 1 per cent and coarse rice by 2 per cent.
Retailers blame millers
The owner of Yasin Traders of Mohakhali kitchen market Mustaqim told Daily Industry that the rice market has been on the rise for a week. Even if there is no crisis, the wholesalers are increasing the prices. Jalal Ahmed, a wholesale and retail rice trader in Karwan Bazar, said that BR-28 rice is the most sold. At the mill level, a sack of rice of this quality increased by Tk 200 to Tk 300 in a week. Transport fares have also gone up due to the blockade. The owner of Savar Rice Agency in Moghbazar Rajib said, the rice market was stable for four to five months. A couple of months ago, India imposed tariffs to discourage rice exports. The big hoarders did not take the opportunity then but now they are taking it.
Hope to reduce prices
Aman paddy harvesting will start in a few days. The mill owners think that the price will come down. Abdur Rashid, president of Bangladesh Auto Major and Husking Mill Owners Association told Daily Industry that many people have run out of stock. Some traders have old rice. They may be charging Tk 50 toTk 100 more per bag. They will be able to tell why they are bidding more. But after a few days new paddy will emerge. Then the price of rice may come down.
Food Secretary claims rice market under control
The Secretary of the Ministry of Food Ismail Hossainrefused to accept the information about the increase in the price of rice. He said, the information about price increase of Tk 5 to Tk 7 per kg is not completely correct. The market is under complete control.
The food secretary said that the reason for the price increase will be investigated eight to 10 days ago. When asked whether any information has been received in that regard, he said that the price of rice usually increases a little on the eve of Amon.
The Ministry of Food says that the stock situation is quite satisfactory. There are 14 lakh 55 thousand 221 tons of rice stock in government warehouse. Meanwhile, 10 lakh 55 thousand tons were imported in the last financial year by government and private sector. However, no rice has been imported so far in the four months of this financial year.
According to the information of the Ministry of Agriculture, the total production of rice in the last financial year was 3 crore 91 lakh tons. In this financial year, the production of Aush has been 3 million tons.
Market unstable due to artificial crisis
Rice is mostly produced in the northern part of the country. Now the price is higher there too. In Naogaon, the price of rice in the retail market has increased by Tk 5 to Tk 7 per kg in a span of eight to 10 days. The mill owners say that the stock of rice is almost at its end due to the reduction of old rice in the market at the end of the season. For this, the price of paddy has increased from Tk 50 to Tk 100. As a result, the price of rice in the wholesale market has increased up to Tk 100 per maund. As a result, bags of Kataribhog rice are being sold at Tk 3,000 to Tk 3,000, Jirashail at Tk 2,900 to Tk 3,000, BR-28 and 29 rice at Tk 2,600 to Tk 2,700, Swarna at Tk 2,500 to Tk 2,600.
General Secretary of Naogaon District Rice Owners Group Farhad Hossain Chakdar said that retail traders have increased the price of paddy from Tk 50 to Tk 100. Many are raising prices by creating artificial crisis in the market by stockpiling rice.
Market to be under control
In Dinajpur, the price of all varieties of rice has increased up to 70 rupees in a week. Sources of Bangladesh Major and Husking Mill Owners Association say that 350 of the total 2,185 auto-wheels are operational in Dinajpur. 150 of them are operational. Apart from this there are 400 Hasking Mills. However, the husking mills are completely closed due to the shortage of rice. The vice president of the organization Sahidur Rahman Patwari Mohan said that the mill is closed due to lack of paddy. Now the rice that is in the market, they are stock traders. These traders have no license. If unlicensed hoarding is stopped, the market will be under control.
Blockade carpentry in Rangpur
In Rangpur, the price of coarse rice has increased up to Tk 300 in wholesale. As a result, the retail market has exceeded Tk 55 per kg. 10 days ago, this rate was Tk 50. Many rice traders, including Milon Shikdar, Abu Patwari, of the Mahiganj area of Rangpur city, complained that the prices have increased due to the arbitrary fixing of prices by a handful of rice mill owners and stockists. Rice mill owners and rice corporate companies in North Bengal are responsible for this. Apart from this, the small husking mills of the region are no longer functioning. Big auto rice mill owners buy paddy at low price and stock it and increase the price on various pretexts. The prolonged blockade is having a negative impact on the market.
Price of wrestling also higher
Basmati was sold at Tk 66 per kg, miniket at Tk 58 and BR-28 and kajallata at Tk 48 and a half at the wholesale level at KushtiaKhajanagar on October 27. And coarse gold variety rice was sold at Tk 42 to Tk 43. In a span of 10 days, Basmati rice increased by Tk 2 to Tk 68 a kg, Miniket Tk 59 to Tk 60, BR-28 and Kajalata Tk 49 to Tk 50 and Coarse rice was sold at Tk 44 to Tk 45 a kg. Due to increase in wholesale, retail level of rice in Kushtia has increased by Tk 3 to Tk 4 per kg.
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