Foods may not be spicy this Eid


Noman Mosharef :
In the wake of recent developments, particularly the surge in the value of the dollar against the Taka, coupled with disruptions in spice imports, the market has been witnessing unprecedented fluctuations just ahead of Eid.

Over the past week, the prices of essential spices such as cumin, cardamom, and cloves have surged by Tk 50 per kg, despite these commodities being imported several months prior.

According to customs authorities, there is no shortage of spices in the market due to ample import reserves meeting the demand.

The price of cardamom has been spiraling upwards for the past two months, attributed to dwindling imports from India.

From a modest Tk 2,000 per kg, the price has skyrocketed to Tk 4,000, alarming both consumers and wholesalers alike.

This surge has not spared other spices, with wholesalers hiking prices of cumin, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, and jaitri (mace), citing various justifications.

Liton Das, proprietor of M/s Unique Enterprise in Khatungonj, Chattogram, noted a significant rise in wholesale prices of cumin and pepper by Tk 5-12 per kg.

Meanwhile, Nurul Azim Munna, owner of M/s Amena Traders, also in Khatungonj, pointed to disruptions in spice imports due to the dollar crisis and price fluctuations.


Statistics from the Chattogram Customs House reveal substantial imports of cardamom, cumin, cloves, and pepper in the first five months of the year, surpassing last year’s figures.

Despite this, Mohammad Najiur Rahman Mia, Joint Commissioner of Chittagong Custom House, assures expedited customs clearance to prevent artificial market crises.

Bangladesh heavily relies on imports from countries like India, Indonesia, China, Vietnam, and Guatemala for spices such as cumin, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon.

While production issues in these nations have historically affected supply, the recent surge in the dollar’s value against the rupee has compounded the situation.

Amar Kanti Das, vice-president of Bangladesh Spice Traders Association, highlighted the country’s dependency on India for cumin and cardamom, emphasizing the impact of shortages in the Indian market.

Similarly, Raisa Mahbub, vice president of Chattogram Chamber of Commerce, emphasized the market’s vulnerability to export dynamics and the escalating dollar prices.

The recent decision by Bangladesh Bank to fix the dollar’s price at Tk 117, up from Tk 110, underscores the economic challenges facing the nation.

As the spice market braces itself for the forthcoming Eid-ul-Azha, stakeholders are urged to collaborate to mitigate the impact of these factors and stabilize prices for consumers nationwide.