The country’s largest wholesale center, Khatunganj in Chattogram, sells sugar, one of the most consumed commodities, at Tk 2,660 per maund (around 40 kilograms).
The price has remained unchanged for a long time despite a downward trend in international markets lately. The world market was down $ 13, or Tk 1,170 per tonne of sugar, to $ 513 on November 16.
Market analysts say importers and traders raise prices immediately after an increase in the world market, but they do not lower prices with the news of a global fall.
Visiting the Katunganj wholesale market, the sugar sold at prices much higher than the import costs.
Along with freight and tariffs, a maund of sugar was imported at Tk 1,804 by November 12, which now sells for Tk 2,660 in the wholesale market – a profit of Tk 856 in each maund.
However, speaking to the reporter, the wholesalers blame the supply crunch on strong demand for the item amid the ease of the pandemic.
“The price of sugar has increased over the past 7-8 months and reached its highest level of 2,850 Tk per maund,” said Ismail Hossain, a market trader.
Meanwhile, to keep the price affordable, the National Board of Revenue has reduced the regulatory fee from 10% to 20%.
“As a result, the sugar market has seen its price per maund from Tk 200 drop to Tk 2,650-2,660,” he added.
He said: “The importers control the price of sugar, forming a union. Only the profit of 200 Tk for a pile of sugar should be enough, but they double or triple.
An importer Alamgir Parvez, owner of M / s RM Traders in the market, said the price of sugar remains volatile in the world market and is now falling.
It will take at least a month to feel the impact on the local market, he said.
Asked about the profit of 800-900 Tk per maund sugar, he said the price did not only depend on the world market but also on local demand.
“Now the supply of sugar is insufficient in the face of strong demand,” he added.
Meanwhile, the sugar is at 75-80 Tk per kg at retail.