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Retail vegetable prices higher than wholesale

Industry: Commodity, Consumer & Retail

On 19th May, 2023 there was a significant price disparity between wholesale and retail markets for vegetables in various areas of the city, including Karwan Bazar, Dilu road, Hatirpool, Noyatola, and Moghbazar, according to both customers and traders. In Karwan Bazar, for instance, okra was being sold at Tk20 per kg in the wholesale market, while just two kilometers away in Moghbazar, it was priced at Tk40 in retail markets. Similar discrepancies were observed for other vegetables. Bitter gourd, snake gourd, pointed gourd, papaya, sponge gourd, and potato were all priced higher in retail markets compared to wholesale rates.

Traders attributed the higher retail prices to factors such as shop rent, transportation costs, and the perishability of vegetables. Customers also expressed their difficulty in buying vegetables at wholesale rates due to the larger quantities they had to purchase. Some suggested the establishment of farmers’ cooperatives as a solution to bridge the gap between producers and consumers and ensure fair prices. In addition to vegetable prices, the cost of onions also experienced a surge, reaching Tk80 per kg in kitchen markets. Traders were accused of hiking onion prices through syndication, and it was proposed that a higher import duty be imposed during harvest season to regulate prices effectively.

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