Wholesale prices of all varieties of rice have gone up by at least Tk. 2 per kg, making the staple costlier in the retail market as well in Dhaka at the beginning of the New Year.
The traders see a good sign for the farmers in the price spike as the price of paddy increased by over Tk. 100 per maund (1 maund = 37.3242 kg) by the end of last year.
Wholesalers in the capital say the millers halted supply citing a ban on transport during the parliamentary elections held on Dec 30 which they also blame for the price hike.
One of them, Md Mohiuddin in Mirpur told bdnews24.com on Friday that the prices of all varieties of rice increased by Tk. 2 to Tk. 3 per kg in the past five days.
The price of low-grade Paijam, Lata and BR Atash rose to Tk. 1,750 from Tk. 1,650 per sack of 50 kg on an average, medium grade Miniket to Tk. 2,350 from Tk. 2,250 and high-quality Miniket rice to Tk. 2,550 from Tk 2,450 per sack, according to the wholesaler.
Retailer Md Palash at Pirerbagh said he was selling Miniket at Tk. 54 per kg, BR Atash at Tk. 40 and Paijam at Tk. 39 a kg.
The fine variety of flavored rice can be had for Tk. 3,950 per sack of 50 kg, up Tk. 150 from the price before the vote.
Traders at North Badda rice market gave a similar account.
“But the farmers are making profits as paddy prices have also increased,” said Tarique Anam, a sales manager at Rashid Rice Agency.
He said the millers produce Miniket rice generally from the Boro harvest. The price of paddy used for Miniket rose to Tk. 1,120 per maund from Tk. 1,000.
The government procurement of rice at Tk. 36 per kg from the farmers drove the paddy market up as well, Naogaon Rice Mill Owners Association President Rafiqul Islam told the media.
“It has pushed the prices a little at the mills,” he added.
He believes the prices will remain the same for some days.
Rice prices skyrocketed for the last time for months from mid-2017 after devastating floods at the low-lying backswamps.
Government data often lower than market prices, showed a 47 percent rise in the price of coarse rice while a fine variety saw around 20 percent increase in a year at the time. Coarse rice consumed by people with low income was then being sold at a minimum of Tk. 46 per kg.