The prices of essential commodities and industrial raw materials were on the rise
Even before the Russia-Ukraine war, prices of essential commodities and industrial raw materials were on the rise in the world market. Both are setting new records for price increases since the start of the war. Added to this is the exchange rate appreciation of the US dollar. This is increasing the cost of importing daily commodities and industrial raw materials, which will have an impact on consumers in the domestic market. Traders have demanded control of the US dollar exchange rate in the country’s foreign exchange market before the situation escalates into a major crisis.
Traders in the import sector say that the dollar is not matching the rate fixed by Bangladesh Bank. Dollar transactions are now taking place in different scheduled banks and open markets of the country at two to four rupees more than the rate fixed by Bangladesh Bank.
Chittagong Chamber President Mahbubul Alam has urged Bangladesh Bank to increase the supply of dollars to the scheduled banks to overcome the crisis. He said that although the prices of commodities in the world market remained stable, the price of commodities was increasing by two to five rupees per kg only due to the difference in the value of the dollar. Importers and consumers will suffer financially.
Let’s give an example of how the price of a product goes up when the value of the dollar goes up. At present, the import of crude soybean oil in the international market is ১ 1,460 per tonne. As such, the cost per liter of oil is 1.35 dollars. If you pay two to four rupees more per dollar, the cost per liter will increase by about five rupees.
Traders are initially paying for the rising cost of importing goods as the dollar exchange rate rises. However, when the product is made from that raw material and will be released in the country’s market, the traders will determine the price of the product based on the total cost. This means that traders will take away from the consumer the additional cost of raising the exchange rate of the dollar. In other words, at the end of the day, the pressure of dollar appreciation will fall on the common man
When asked, Amirul Haque, managing director of Premier Cement, said that the exchange rate of dollar is rising at a time when prices of commodities are rising in the world market. In other words, a situation has been created like a stab wound on the head. Ordinary consumers will be under pressure. The exchange rate of the dollar should have been raised or adjusted gradually.