Bangladeshi consumers pay more for raw materials than in other countries

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A dozen eggs are sold at 110.57 Tk on average in Dhaka, which costs 85.72 Tk in the city of Cyberjaya in Malaysia and 103 Tk in Dayton in western Ohio in the United States. Eggs in Dhaka are 7.34% more expensive than in Dayton and 29% more expensive than in Cyberjaya.

Similarly, one kilogram of onion costs Tk 55.22 in Dhaka, which is Tk 40.9 in Belgrade, Serbia and Tk 37.46 in Baku, Azerbaijan. The key cooking ingredient is 35% more expensive in Dhaka than in Belgrade and 47.41% more expensive than in Baku.

This is how consumers in Dhaka are expected to pay more for products than in other countries – whether imported or locally produced, as CPD Executive Director Dr. Fahmida Khatun explains.

Delivering a speech at a press briefing organized by the CPD on Sunday, she said traders were raising the prices of most commodities unreasonably under the guise of raising prices in the global market.

She said, “Sometimes the degree of increase in prices of basic necessities exceeds the global rate. On this occasion, the prices of non-imported goods also increased.

Dr Fahmida said the average monthly employee salary in Dhaka was $149 in 2017, compared to $3,955 in Dayton. Consumers in US cities have the opportunity to buy eggs at a lower price, despite having 26.54 times higher incomes.

Commodities are being sold at abnormally high prices in Bangladesh, but the BBS inflation report does not reflect this.

She added that there is a strong relationship between food and non-food prices. Rising food inflation would also accelerate non-food inflation.

The BBS said food inflation has been stable at less than 5.3% for the past four months. But the price increases for some items are very high, even up to 30 percent, Fahmida noted.

His article further revealed that the price of rice is steadily increasing with some fluctuations, but it is increasing moderately in Thailand and Vietnam.

In January, rice was being sold at Tk 34 per kg in Vietnam and Tk 35-37 per kg in Thailand. But the price was Tk51-Tk69 in Bangladesh.

She found the same image in the case of flour.

The price of edible oil per liter was Tk 134 in global and local markets in May last year. Its price has now soared to 160 Tk in the local market while it has fallen to 126 Tk in the global market.

Consumers in Dhaka are required to pay Tk 85 for a kilo of sugar. But the essentials cost 32 Tk in Europe, 67 Tk in the US. The average price of sugar on the world market is only 35 Tk.

Although the price of beef in the world market is Tk 513 per kg, it costs Tk 577 in Dhaka.

Spanish consumers spend Tk 62.9 for a liter of milk, which costs Tk 80.2 in Dhaka. The cash item is 28% more expensive in Dhaka, although its residents’ income is only 6.60% of that in Spain.

Fahmida Khatun said the income of poor and salaried workers in Dhaka is much lower than that of people in other countries. Their real purchasing capacity is all the lower as they have to buy products at higher prices.

Market management and tax structure are weak. Moreover, there are cartels and monopolies, she also said, adding that although there is information about who is involved in these wrongdoings, no action is being taken.

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