Rice continued to become dearer in the current Aman harvesting season which the insiders attributed to the paddy price hike in the country's main growing regions.
Edible oil prices also witnessed further hike last week increasing sufferings of the commoners who had already dug deep into their pockets to meet the rising living expenditures triggered by the price hike of other essentials last month.
The state-owned Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) said coarse varieties of rice showed the maximum surge in prices in the last few weeks.
In the city markets on Friday, the coarse varieties were sold at Tk 48-52 per kilogram (kg), medium varieties Tk 55-56 and the finer quality at Tk 60-72 - a Tk 2.0-3.0 per kg hike in the last one and a half weeks.
The TCB said the current rice price is 14-34 per cent higher than that of the last year.
Insiders said, prices of paddy has reached its all-time high in the growing hubs during the ongoing Aman harvesting season which contributed to the latest surge in rice prices.
Secretary of Bangladesh Auto Major Husking Mill Owners Association K M Layek Ali said the minimum price of coarse rice is now Tk 44 a kg at mill-gates amid high paddy costs.
He said paddy is being sold at a record high of Tk 1,100-1,350 per maund (40 kgs) in this harvesting season.
He also said that big farmers and seasonal traders are storing paddy in large volumes anticipating a decline in production due to the five spells of flood in the country this year.
On the other hand, the government's stock of the staple has been declining notably in the backdrop of its failure to achieve rice procurement target from the domestic source this season, adding to the prevailing concerns about the food security.
The Aman procurement season is November-February and the Directorate General of Food (DGoF) has been able to purchase only 525 metric tonnes of the rice since November 07 last against a target of 0.85 million tonnes until February 2021, according to DGoF.
The public rice storage has plunged to 0.55 million tonnes until December 02 which was 0.90 million tonnes in the corresponding period of last year, according to the DGoF data.
The government has set a target to buy from the domestic sources 50,000 tonnes of white rice at Tk 36 a kg, 0.6 million tonnes of parboiled rice at Tk 37, and 0.2 million tonnes of paddy at Tk 26 a kg in this season.
The Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) recorded that 88 per cent of Aman harvest has been completed out of 5.89 million hectares of land.
The government had a target of growing 15.5 million tonnes of rice during this Aman season which is unlikely to be achieved, said the insiders.
Meanwhile, the costs of soybean oil surged further as a five-litre jar price increased to Tk 580-625 depending on companies which were Tk 540-580 earlier.
One litre bottled soybean oil price rose to Tk 120-125 and loose soybean to Tk 112-116 per litre--- Tk 5.0-7.0 a litre hike.
Palm oil prices too showed a considerable hike in the past week. Palm oil rise by Tk 5.0-6.0 per litre as super palm was traded at Tk 104-106 a litre on the day.