Local fruits likely to side-line dates during Ramadan

27 Apr 2018, 16:31

NTV Online

Dhaka: With the advent of holy Ramadan, the demand for dates usually goes up sharply, but this time the scenario is expected to be a bit different as the market will be flooded with local summer fruits.

According to traders in the city, the supply of dates, one of the must-sought one for Iftar, will be between 30,000 to 35,000 tonnes against the usual demand for 40,000 tonnes.

The demand for other imported fruits may also see a fall due to the availability of local fruits in the market during Ramadan as it is the season of mango, litchi, jackfruit, guava, pineapple and others, reports the UNB.

As a result, the traders said, people will be less interested to buy imported fruits.

Faruk Hossain, a whole-seller of fruits at Sadarghat, said that green mangoes have already started hitting the market, among which sweet and sour mangoes are also available. In the middle of the May, ripe mangoes will start coming in as well as other seasonal fruits.

Meanwhile, Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), an autonomous state trading organisation, has initially procured 100 tonnes of dates which it will sell throughout the Ramadan. ‘But, the stock may be increased if requires to tackle any possible crisis,’ said an official wishing anonymity.

Dates are usually imported from Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Tunisia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Pakistan.

Different countries of Africa also commercially produce dates from where Bangladesh also import those.

According to Bangladesh Fresh Fruits Importers Association (BFFIA), the date market is totally dependent on import as it does not have much demand throughout the year rather than the month of Ramadan.

Though there are still two weeks left for the Ramadan to start, the whole-sellers and importers have already started importing dates.

In the market, different varieties of date are available in different names such as Khalas, Muskani, Wasli, Berahi, Dairy, Safwai, Shalabi, Wannah, Mabrum, Khurma, Mariam, Amirat Gold and many others which are selling at a wholesale price of Tk70 to Tk120 and from Tk 120 to Tk 200 in retail.

Different varieties of Mariam dates, which are relatively costlier are sold at Tk 600 to Tk1200 per kg in wholesale markets while from Tk1000 to Tk1800 in retailing super shops.

Md Sirajul Islam, former General Secretary of BFFIA, said this year there is no reason for the date prices to be high as there is already enough supply in the market.

Sirajul said there is also a better chance of better supply of seasonal fruits this year along the side the imported ones. ‘So, there shouldn’t be any price hike of fruits in this Ramadan.’