Expensive flour, bread, baked goods

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Wheat flour prices have risen from 2.0 to 3.0 Tk per kilogram in the domestic market, hitting people’s pockets, according to trade sources.

However, traders attributed the rise to an increase in the price of wheat on the international market.

The prices of bread and some other baked goods have also increased due to higher prices for wheat, sugar and edible oils, insiders said.

The prices of coarse flour (attack) and finer flour (maida) increased by 2.0 to 3.0 Tk per kg or 8.0 to 10 percent in one week, according to market sources.

The bulk attack was sold at Tk 31-Tk 32 per kg, the package Tk 38-attack, the bulk maidaat Tk 38-Tk 40 the kg and the package maida at 46-48 Tk per kg on Sunday.

Nurul Huda, an official at Bashundhara Food and Beverage, said a surge in global wheat prices has forced millers to revise prices to some extent.

He said wheat prices have been on the rise since October of last year.

Data from the World Trade Index Mundi and Business Insider web portals showed that wheat traded between US $ 220 and US $ 260 per tonne on different continents around the world depending on its quality.

Reports from the portals said that the export compression of the main Russian exporter caused an increase of 10 to 11% in the last three months despite a good harvest in many regions.

However, the more expensive wheat, sugar and edible oil have also caused an increase in bakery products in Bangladesh.

The price of bread, known locally as “paaruti”, rose 12-14% in Dhaka city from January 23.

The price of a medium-sized bread (350 grams / g) has increased to Tk 35-Tk 40 from Tk 30-Tk 35, same size milk bread to Tk 45-Tk 50 from Tk 40-Tk 45, large size (650 g) to Tk 65-75 from Tk 55-Tk 65 depending on urban areas, grocery stores and bakeries said.

Md Haider Ali, a grocer at East Rayer Bazar in the city, said local bakeries stopped providing bread and cookies from the evening of January 21, which continued for the next 24 hours.

And they started providing bread, cookies and cakes at higher rates from January 23, he said.

Shahjalal Hossain, one of the owners of Rayer Bazar-based Shahnewaj Bakery, said manual bakeries had raised prices due to soaring prices for wheat flour, sugar and edible oil.

He said wheat flour prices per kg showed an increase of 2.0-3.0 Tk in just one month.

Many bakeries have also increased the prices of cookies, cakes and muffins from Tk 30 to Tk 50 per kg as a result of soaring commodity prices.

Prices for regular cookies, mostly sold at roadside tea stalls, increased by Tk 30 per kg, traders said.

Rafiq Dewan, owner of a roadside tea stand outside the city’s Tejgaon College, said he bought regular cookies at Tk 170 per kg on Sunday, or Tk 140-150 two days ago.

A packet of ten pieces of cake went to Tk 80 from Tk 65-70 earlier.

He said many bakeries do not raise the prices of cookies and cakes, instead downplay the volume of a product.

When contacted, the chairman of the Bangladesh Biscuit and Bread Manufacturers Association (BABBMA), Mr. Shafiqur Rahman Bhuiyan, said manual bakery operators had raised prices.

He said members of his association had not yet reviewed it.

“We are also going to submit to the government a price revision proposal following a surge in the prices of wheat, sugar and oil,” he added.

According to Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), edible oil and sugar prices are now 26-30 percent and 7.0-9.0 percent higher than a year ago.

Bangladesh Consumers ‘Association (CAB) secretary Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan said soaring flour prices had exacerbated citizens’ problems.

Homemade bread (ruti, parata) and paaruti are now popular products for breakfast and snacks and meet much of the demand for food, he said, adding that the poor would be hit hard. by soaring prices for flour and bakery products.

He said market surveillance should be stepped up to prevent any artificial hikes.

Mr Bhuiyan also said that the import duties on edible oil and sugar should be reviewed immediately to help citizens.

According to the Bangladesh Agricultural Processors Association (BAPA) and BABBMA, the country consumes 7.0 million tonnes of wheat, of which 2.0 million tonnes is bakery and confectionery.

The demand for wheat-based food products has increased 10 to 15 percent year over year.

At the same time, a joint meeting between the government and concerned traders decided on Sunday to sit down with stakeholders to find a solution to the soaring prices of edible oils in the market.

“Very soon we will be holding a meeting with relevant stakeholders including the Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission and edible oil traders to find a way out of the rising FMCG prices,” Trade Minister Tipu Munshi told reporters after a review meeting on the recent staple commodity prices with the country’s edible oil traders at his secretariat.

At the meeting, no assurances were given to lower the prices of edible oil in the domestic market, a source said.

The trade minister said about 90 percent of edible oil must be imported into the country. The rise in prices on the international market has an impact on the domestic market.

He mentioned that the ton of edible oil was US $ 700 on the world market last July. It is now greater than $ 1,100 / 1,190. For this, the prices of the article have increased by more than 75% in the kitchen market. The global upward trend has also affected the local edibles market.

Edible prices will be set monthly, if necessary. The Commerce Ministry is currently working on the issue, Munshi said.

At the meeting, edible oil traders demanded the imposition of a one-step VAT and tariff on edible oil instead of the existing structure.

Secretary of Commerce MdJafar Uddin, senior ministry officials and representatives of trade bodies attended the meeting.

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