October 25, 2020, 11:14 am

Abu Taher Bappa

2020-09-29 10:20:51 BdST

Rice prices strike seven-month high

Rice prices spiralled again as coarse varieties hit a seven-month high of Tk 50 a kg on Monday, compounding the woes of the poor and fixed earners.

All varieties of rice prices rose by 2.0-5.0 a kg in the last one and half weeks. Coarse rice increased for the second time during the period.

Worried over the continued hike in rice prices, the government is going to sit with the millers and other relevant parties today (Tuesday) to discuss the matter.

Coarse varieties like Swarna and BR-11 were retailing at Tk 50 a kg while hybrid and other varieties at Tk 46-48 a kg on Monday, a Tk 2.0 hike in just two days and Tk 5.0 in a week, according to the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).

However, medium and finer rice showed aTk 2.0-4.0 hike per kg in a week.

Medium quality Brridhan-28, 29 and Lata were selling at Tk 52-55 a kg and finer at Tk 60-70 a kg.

TCB found 6.0 percent hike in coarse rice prices just in the last two days and 10 per cent in a week.

The current price of coarse rice is seven-month high, said the TCB.

Coarse rice prices shot up toTk 50 a kg in March when the virus pummelled the country, said trading sources.

Later from the last week of April, prices started to decline and it was Tk 36-40 a kg in May-July period in Dhaka, the corporation said.

The rising trend in rice price has prompted the government to consult with the millers.

The food minister is meeting the rice millers and traders to discuss the price situation of the main staple following the recent spike.

"We've convened a meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) to discuss with the millers, wholesalers and retailers on the price spike in rice. We will discuss how to contain the prices," additional secretary (procurement and supply wing) of the ministry of food (MoF) Tahmidul Islam said on Monday.

He said that food minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder will preside over the meeting.

Meanwhile, the food ministry's open market sale (OMS) of rice and flour continued at 120 selling points in Dhaka city, said Suman Mehedi, information officer of the ministry.

People can buy rice at Tk 30 a kg and flour at Tk 18 a kg from the OMS outlets, he said.

The country has a stock of over 1.40 million tonnes of rice and 0.307 million tonnes of wheat at the government silos, according to the data of the Directorate General of Food.

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