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ISLAMABAD: Prices of essential kitchen items have witnessed another increase, revealed a survey conducted by Business Recorder.

The survey revealed ghee/cooking oil, pulses, powder milk Nestle Buniyad, spices, vegetables and chicken prices have witnessed a fresh increase during this week past as compared with the previous week.

B-grade ghee/cooking oil price in wholesale market jumped from Rs 2,700 per carton of 12 packs to Rs 2,750 per carton of 12 packs, which in retail is being sold at Rs 230 per pack of 900 grams.

Prices of the best quality ghee/cooking oil increased from Rs 1,340 per 5 litre pack to Rs 1,400 in wholesale market, which in retail is being sold at Rs 1,440 per 5 litre pack.

During the past two months, best quality ghee/cooking oil prices have witnessed an increase of Rs 260 per 5 litre bottle or Rs 40 per litre increase, while normal quality ghee-cooking oil brands have witnessed an increase of Rs 45 per 900gm pack.

Powder milk Nestle Buniyad 950gm pack increased by Rs 30 per pack from Rs 750 per pack to Rs 780 per pack.

Prices of all the pulses during the week under review witnessed an increasing trend as moong went up from Rs 7,000 per 40kg to Rs 7,200 per 40kg which in retail is being sold at Rs 180-200 per kg. Maash price went up from Rs 7,200 per 40kg to Rs 7,500 per 40kg which in retail is being sold at Rs 40 per kg against Rs 200 per kg, best quality lentil gram from Rs 5,000 per 40kg to Rs 5,200 per 40kg which in retail is being sold at Rs 150 per kg against Rs 145 per kg.

Best quality bean lentil from Rs 7,300 per 40kg to Rs 7,500 per 40kg which in retail is being sold at Rs 210 per kg against Rs 200 per kg and masoor pulse from Rs 4,800 per 40kg to Rs 4,900 per 40kg which in retail is being sold at Rs 140 per kg, and best quality whole gram from Rs 4,800 per 40kg to Rs 5,000 per 40kg which in retail is being sold at Rs 145 per kg against Rs 140 per kg.

Traders said that two years ago, lowest quality cooking oil/ghee was costing Rs107 per pack in wholesale market which now costs Rs210 and they are selling it at Rs 215 per pack.

During the week under review, sugar price in the wholesale market declined from Rs 4,450 per bag to Rs 4,300 per bag, rice prices witnessed slight decline as top quality Basmati price went down from Rs 6,000 per 40kg bag from Rs 5,700 per bag which in retail is being sold at Rs 175 per kg against Rs 180 per kg.

Traders at wholesale and retail marketing while talking to Business Recorder said that the government decision of increasing electricity and natural gas prices coupled with expected increase in petroleum prices from February 1, 2020 will bring a fresh wave of increasing the prices of all the essential commodities and other daily use items.

Retailers said that owing to the ever increasing prices of the essential kitchen items their margins have seriously declined “a common retailer was getting Rs 10 margin on the sale of B-grade cooking oil such as Phool two years ago but now it costs Rs221 in wholesale market and we are selling it at Rs 225 per pack including transportation charges and other charges we manage to get only Rs 2 per pack”.

After months, the flour millers have restored the 20kg wheat flour bag but with taking the prices up from Rs 1,250 per 20kg bag to Rs 1,350 per bag, normal quality wheat flour price from Rs 1,200 per bag to Rs 1,300 per bag. Within the past one year, flour millers have increased the wheat flour price by Rs 500 per 20kg bag or Rs 25 per kg.

Chicken price during the week under review registered a significant increase as chicken price in wholesale market went up by Rs 1,800 per 40kg from Rs 6,000 per 40kg to Rs 7,800 per 40kg, which in retail are being sold at Rs 215 per kg against Rs 160 per kg reflecting an increase of Rs 55 per kg.

However, egg prices in wholesale market dropped from Rs 4,300 per carton to Rs 3,900 per carton which in retail are being sold at Rs 145 per dozen against Rs 160 per dozen.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) prices and firewood remained stable as LPG domestic cylinder of 15kg price is table at Rs 2,400 per cylinder, firewood prices at Rs 800 per 40kg.

Milk and yogurt prices also remained stable at Rs 125 per kg and Rs 140 per kg respectively.

A comparison of the prevailing market prices with the prices computed by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has find serious differences as the PBS has mentioned sugar price at Rs 90.30 per kg which in market is available at Rs 93 per kg.

Similarly, the PBS has mentioned Dalda ghee/cooking oil price Rs 284 per kg while in market it is being sold at Rs 290 per kg.

The PBS has mentioned wheat flour price of Rs946.54 per 20kg bag but in market it is available at Rs 1,350 per 20kg bag.

The PBS has mentioned chicken price at Rs207 per kg which in market is available at Rs 215 per kg, fresh milk price at Rs 105 per kg while in market it is being sold at Rs 125 per kg, cooked daal plate at an average hotel is available at Rs 90 per plate against the PBS mentioned price of Rs 75 per plate, mutton in rural areas of Rawalpindi/Islamabad is available at Rs 1,100 per kg while the PBS has mentioned it at Rs 994.48 per kg, while in urban areas of the twin cities, mutton is being sold at Rs 1,250 per kg.

The government-sponsored 20kg wheat flour bag which is available at Rs 860 per 20kg bag but it is not available on majority of the shops as well as on the Utility Stores outlets. It is also observed that a majority of the people are not willing to purchase government-sponsored 20kg wheat flour bag, saying it is of inferior quality and not suitable for consumption. Tomatoes price went down from Rs 350 per 5kg to Rs 175 per 5kg which in retail are being sold at Rs 45 per kg against Rs 80 per kg, onion price went up from Rs 175 per 5kg to Rs 200 per 5kg, which in retail are being sold at Rs 50 per kg against Rs 45 per kg, potato price went down from Rs 180 per 5kg to Rs 150 per kg, which in retail are being sold at Rs 40 per kg against Rs 45-50 per kg.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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