Traders think importing unrefined oil, paying advanced tax, price hike in the international markets and paying VAT in three stages are responsible for the hike in soybean oil price
The price of unpackaged soybean oil and cardamom spiralled over the week, even though onion prices dropped at the kitchen markets.
Over just one week, cardamom price increased by almost Tk1,000 per kg, while price of unpackaged soybean oil went from Tk92-95 to Tk100.
Two weeks ago, the soybean marketing companies set the maximum retail price of bottled soybean oil at Tk110, while unpackaged soybean oil was being sold at Tk86-88 per litre.
Anis, a retailer at Rampura market, told The Business Standard, "The wholesalers are hiking the price in a span of a few days. So we have to sell at a higher price. Last week, we sold soybean oil at Tk92 which we are selling at Tk100 now."
Mohammad Ali Bhutta, the proprietor of Lucky Trading Agency in Shyambazar, Dhaka, said, "Refinery companies are hiking the price regularly and we can do nothing but to sell at a higher price."
Traders think importing unrefined oil, paying advanced tax, price hike in the international markets and paying VAT in three stages are responsible for the hike in soybean oil price.
On the other hand, cardamom has been sold at a higher price for the last month. However, in the last 10-15 days, each kilogram of cardamom was sold at Tk4,800-5,000, an increase of TK1,200-1,400 per kg. The previous price was Tk3,200-3,600 per kg.
According to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh, cardamom price increased by 48.48 percent in one month and 176 percent in one year.
The sellers said due to a fall in production and supply, the price of cardamom hiked by up to 35 percent in Indian markets. India then started importing cardamom from Latin American country Guatemala. Bangladesh always imports cardamom from India and Guatemala.
As the price hiked in India and it started importing from Guatemala, the price hiked in Bangladesh too.
Bangladesh has an annual demand of 4,000-5,000 tonne cardamom which is totally dependent on imports.
Md Enayetullah, president of Bangladesh Spices Traders' Association, said since India began exporting cardamom from Guatemala, the price increased in the local markets of India and impacted our markets.
Meanwhile, onion prices started dropping following a rise in supply. One week ago local onion price hiked to Tk200 per kg due to rain, but returned to which is Tk140-150. Imported onions are available at Tk60-80 per kg.
Though there is an adequate supply of winter vegetables, the price has not decreased significantly. Buyers do not consider vegetables as cheap.
Aminul Islam, a buyer at city's Kawran Bazar kitchen market, said, "Last year, I bought a cauliflower at Tk20-25 which I am buying at Tk30-35 this year. Ripe tomatoes which were sold at Tk30-35 are selling at Tk50-55 per kg."