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Kitchen markets on fire as syndicates raising prices abnormally ahead of Ramzan

18 March 2023

With Ramzan less than a week away, the high prices of chicken and meat are not likely to come down anytime soon. Broiler chicken was sold for Tk 270 a kg in the capital yesterday, up from Tk 160 one and a half months ago. The Sonalika breed was sold for Tk 370 per kg and local breed Tk 630 per kg, up from Tk 270 and Tk 500 during the same period, according to the market analysis of Dhaka Metropolitan Police.
The price of mutton has also gone up to Tk 1,100 per kg from Tk 950 in the last one and a half months. A syndicate of some private companies is controlling the chicken market. It is also involved in price manipulation. Insiders said the price of poultry won't come down soon. The price hike of daily essentials left thousands of consumers of fixed income groups in deep trouble. Broiler chicken has seen an increase in price at the farmer level over the past one week while there is also a shortage in the market against the demand.
The price of the most-consumed items during Ramzan such as chickpeas, dried peas and dates has increased in the wholesale markets in Dhaka and Chattogram due to a supply shortage, two months before the fasting month begins. However, the import of these products has fallen due to the increase in the US dollar rate and the complexity of opening letters of credit (LCs). As a result, the supply of the essential items in the market has dropped, driving up their prices. The price of dates has increased by Tk 10 to Tk 100 per kg. Retailers are selling chickpeas, dried peas and dates at prices that are Tk 5 to Tk 15 higher than the wholesale rates per kg.
The holy month will start this week but businesses are already facing trouble in opening LCs due to the dollar shortage. If the dollar crunch is not sorted out, the price will increase a lot during Ramzan and small to moderate level famine will cascade.

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