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Powdered milk prices rise – a fresh blow to consumers

24 November 2022

The prices of powdered milk have increased again by Tk 50 to Tk 110 per kilogramme  in the last one month because of rising prices in the international market, shortage of US dollars owing to depleting foreign currency reserves and complexities in opening letters of credit. The development comes at a time when people are already in a crisis due to price hikes of most essential commodities, food, fast-moving consumer goods and other items. In the last two weeks, the prices of flour and lentils have increased in the market. The price of rice has not come down, but the prices of chicken and eggs have fallen, although it is still much higher than usual. Data from the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh showed that the prices of powdered milk of different brands have risen by 25 per cent to 40 per cent in the local market in the last year.
The price has increased in the local market due to an abnormal price hike in the international market, a fall in the value of the taka against the dollar, an increase in transportation costs and difficulties in opening letters of credit. At the beginning of this year, the price of powdered milk per tonne in the international market was $3,400 to $4,000. Now, it has increased to about $6,000. Bangladesh is facing a shortage of US dollars owing to the depletion of its foreign currency reserves, caused by escalating import bills against a decrease in exports and inflow of remittance.
It is generally affected by, but not limited to increasing global milk price, logistics and operational costs, cost of goods and utility expenses, unpredictable exchange rates of United States dollar etc. The cost of production increased by 30 per cent due to the rising dollar while energy costs increased by 37 per cent due to an increase in diesel prices. Powdered milk is the source of nutrition for growing up children, elderly people and youths living in urban areas where fresh source of cow milk is not available. For children and lactating mothers, powdered milk is a fundamental demand. Government should subsidize this, otherwise nutrition status will be at risk.

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