Traders said even though Aman harvesting season is reaching its peak, paddy has become pricier as the government has started buying the crop directly from farmers
Prices of different varieties of rice have edged up by Tk2 to Tk5 a kilogram in the capital's kitchen markets over the last one week.
Wholesalers said a hike in paddy prices have caused the rise in the prices of finer varieties of the staple. However, they said prices of coarse varieties are stable.
They said even though Aman harvesting season is reaching its peak, paddy has become pricier as the government has started buying the crop directly from farmers.
While on a visit to several kitchen markets in the metropolis on Friday, it was found that najir and miniket rice varieties were selling at Tk50 to Tk52 per kilogram, which was Tk45-50 even a week ago.
According to the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh, price of slender and glossy husked rice variety rose by 7.37 percent over the last one month.
Meanwhile, prices of the premium rice varieties were between Tk55 and Tk60 per kilogram on Friday, up by Tk1 to Tk2.
Medium-quality slender rice varieties, which have the highest number of customers, witnessed the highest increase in their prices. Retailers said those varieties were selling at Tk48 to Tk52, which was Tk40 to Tk50 a week ago.
According to the trading corporation data, prices of this category surged by 11.11 percent in a month.
Idris, a grocer in Dhaka's Rampura area said rice prices shot up in last four to five days. He said spiked wholesale prices jacked up the retails.
Meanwhile, Karwan Bazar rice wholesaler Ajijul Islam said, "Rice price increased due to a hike in paddy prices."
Traders also claimed farmers are getting fair price for paddy this season. In the previous season, low paddy price prompted by a bumper yield hurt the rice growers.
The government is buying 6 lakh tonnes of paddy from the farmers this season at Tk26 per kilogram, or Tk1,040 for per maund. Besides, 3.50 lakh tonnes of parboiled rice and 50,000 tonnes of sunned rice will be purchased from the millers at Tk36 and Tk35 per kilogram respectively.
People concerned said the government's purchasing paddy from the farmers has affected rice prices.
According to our correspondents in Bagura, Dinajpur, Barisal and Jashore, the price of per maund paddy is between Tk700 and Tk800 at local markets, while Boro paddy dropped to Tk500 to Tk550 per maund in the last season.
However, The Business Standard correspondents said that low-quality paddies are being sold at Tk630 to Tk650 per maund in some districts.
Farmers however expressed satisfaction over the relatively higher prices of paddy this season. They said government purchase has improved the paddy market and they are getting a fair price.
Jalal Akhand, a Barishal farmer told The Business Standard, "Aman price is quite good. However, the price gap for different qualities is a bit high."
In the meantime, onion prices have started to calm down in Dhaka. On Friday, per kilogram of locally grown onions was selling at Tk100 to Tk130, while imported onions were selling at Tk70 to Tk100 per kg.
Onion traders raised the price to Tk200 two weeks ago on the pretext that the brief spells of shower hampered the harvesting of the bulb.