Amid huge imports following a government initiative, a lower wholesale price has led to a drop in the price of the staple at retail, but that is still over Tk 40 per kg.
It has been nearly three weeks after the Eid-ul-Fitr since the announcement of imports had come to control the price hike and the first shipment of 20,000 tonnes of rice from Vietnam arrived at the Chittagong Port on Thursday.
By this time, the price of coarse rice in the retail market has dropped only Tk 5-6 to Tk 46 per kg. One year ago, this variety of rice cost Tk 30-34.
On Friday, visits to several retail markets in capital Dhaka revealed that no varieties of rice were being sold under Tk 42.
According to Department of Agriculture Marketing data, coarse rice was sold at Tk 40-42.5 per kg on Thursday in the wholesale market. At the retail level, Guti and Swarna were sold at Tk 42 and Tk 43, respectively.
But the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh or TCB data said the rate for these were between Tk 43 and 46 in Dhaka on Thursday, which a week ago was Tk 46-48 per kg.
Wholesaler Bashundhara Rice Agency’s seller Salauddin at Babubazar told reporter, “After the imported rice arrived, the syndicate dissolved and millers started to drop the prices slowly.”
On Friday, he said Miniket was being sold at Tk 51-52 per kg, BR-28 at Tk 45-46, BR-29 at Tk 45, and coarse rice at Tk 39 per kg in their market.
Food Minister Qamrul Islam on Thursday claimed that the only reason behind the spiralling rice prices was stockpiling by rogue traders following the flash floods in the Haor areas.
He also announced that 16,000 rice millers have been blacklisted for hoarding in an effort to manipulate the prices.