Prices of all necessary kitchen products witnessed an increase this week compared to the previous week, according to a poll conducted by Daily Times in Karachi on Sunday. Traders told this correspondent that the increase in costs of vital kitchen products and other daily necessities is a direct result of the increase in fuel and electricity rates, as well as the depreciation of the Pakistani rupee versus the dollar and other major world currencies. During the week under review, the price of 20kg bags of good quality wheat flour increased from Rs1,500 to Rs1,600 per bag in the retail market. According to traders, the government-sponsored 20kg wheat flour bag was not only substandard but also not available to all consumers due to millers’ requirement to purchase the same quantity of 15kg wheat flour bags at a premium price. Sugar prices increased by another R300 per50kg bag, from Rs5,550 to R5,850, and are now retailing at Rs 122-125per kg, up from Rs118-120 per kg. According to dealers, millers boosted the price of sugar by Rs850 per 50kg in the last three weeks, bringing the retail price to Rs125 per kg. Prices for the highest quality ghee/cooking oil remained unchanged at Rs1750 per 5-litre box. Traders told this correspondent that dealers of leading brands have informed them that the price of a 5-litre pack is likely to reach Rs2,000 in the coming days, while the price of a single litre pack would likely cross the Rs420 level. Suppliers of several brands of packaged spices have increased their costs but also reduced the size of their packs. For example, Shan and National spices increased their pricing from Rs75 to Rs80 per pack but also lowered the bag’s weight from 50 to 43 grams. The price of boneless beef, which increased from Rs800 to Rs850 per kg last week, the price of boned beef, which increased from Rs700 to Rs750 per kg, stayed unchanged during the week under review, while the price of mutton remained unchanged at Rs1,450 per kg. Pulses prices remained constant at Rs280 per kg for good quality maash and Rs190 per kg for best quality lentil. Bean lentils of superior quality are available for Rs280 per kg, masoor of superior quality is available for Rs190-200 per kg, whole gramme of superior quality is available for Rs 180 per kg, and moong is available for Rs140 per kg. Prices of powdered red chilies have decreased from Rs400 per kg to Rs360 per kg, while prices of powdered turmeric have decreased from Rs400 per kg to Rs375 per kg. Prices for both fresh and packaged milk stayed constant throughout the week. Additionally, the prices of various grades of rice have stayed steady. However, over the weekend, chicken prices increased by a further Rs25 per kg. Prices of eggs also increased from Rs190 per dozen to Rs180 per dozen.