KARACHI: People continue to receive price hike shocks one after another ahead of Eidul Azha as flour (No2.5), sugar, ginger and green chilli prices have soared to new heights.

Flour millers have raised the price of flour (no.2.5) to Rs56.50 from Rs54 per kg, increasing Rs2.5 per kg.

Over the past two weeks, this is the fourth straight price jerk given by the millers to consumers.

The new price of a 10kg flour bag has been fixed at Rs570 as compared to Rs545. Two weeks back it was selling at Rs470 per bag.

The new rates of fine and super fine flour (maida) have been increased from Rs56.50 per kg to Rs59 per kilo, which is Rs2.50 per kg increase.

Flour millers have played havoc with prices amid reports of booking of 270,000 tonnes of imported wheat by the private sector which would arrive in the next two to three months.

Consumers witnessed a massive jump of Rs21 per kg in flour (no2.5) from April till to date while the federal, provincial and city governments literally have left the millers at their own to keep pushing up the rates.

The millers said the 100kg wheat bag price was increased to Rs5,100 from Rs4,800 four days back while it was Rs3,500 in April, citing reasons like non-release of wheat-loaded trucks arriving from interior of Sindh to Karachi coupled with movement of Sindh wheat to other provinces.

Pakistan Flour Millers Association Sindh zone chairman Khalid Masood has urged the Sindh government on July 17 to release wheat to millers during August and September to control the rising prices of wheat and wheat flour.

He said the international price of wheat is currently higher and as soon as it drops in the next 30 days, around 500,000 tonnes of imported grain would arrive after September.

Sugar, ginger and green chilli

The retail price of sugar has risen to Rs87-88 per kg from Rs85 per kg following increase in wholesale price to Rs82-83 from Rs78-79 per kg.

Wholesalers have blamed the millers for increasing the prices to Rs80-81, up by Rs4 per kg.

Amid ongoing inquiries and investigations by the government, consumers are still paying high prices for wheat flour and sugar despite good production.

As Eidul Azha is about 10 days away, retailers are charging Rs480 per kg for good quality ginger as compared to Rs400 per kg rate, up by Rs80 per kg ahead of Eid.

Small green chilli price, which was available at Rs60-80 per kg, is now Rs180-200 per kg, while big green chilli is now selling at Rs150-160 as compared to Rs40-60 per kg.

Published in Dawn, July 20th, 2020

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