Shafikul Islam & Rafiqul Islam
UNB Staff Writers
Dhaka, Aug 10 (UNB) – Traders in the capital’s cattle markets reported buoyant sales on Saturday as the prices were relatively low in some places, just two days before Eid-ul-Azha.
An embargo on cattle import had turned out to be a boon for local beef farmers. The government’s move pushed up the prices to some extent but the sales went down.
Visiting different makeshift cattle markets, including that in Nayabazar, Dholaikhal and Dhupkhola, these correspondents found people thronging the markets in droves since morning, many hoping for a last-minute bargain.
In many cases, traders from outside Dhaka reluctantly sold their cattle to avoid losses and cover their travel expenses.
Although some customers complained of high prices of locally-reared cattle, many bought sacrificial animals early to avoid a last-minute mad rush.
Cattle traders told UNB that they were very happy with the sales – and were very busy arguing with customers. Trucks carrying cattle from various districts continued to come to Dhaka throughout the day. Many expect the prices to go down at the eleventh hour.
The demand for mid-sized cattle was high but the big cattle fetched up to Tk 400,000.
Raju Ahmed, a resident of Gendaria, said he bought a medium-sized cow for Tk 85,000. “The price was more than I expected,” he said.
Suman Ahmed, who bought a sacrificial animal from Basila, said people should bargain before buying as traders are not charging reasonable prices. He bought his cattle at Tk 51,000 – about Tk 30,000 less than what the trader had asked for.
Cattle trader Abdur Rob at Postagola market said the response has been satisfactory. “I’ve so far sold 11 cattle,” he said. “I’ll wait until the last moment and sell my cattle if I get fair prices.”
Cattle trader Latifur Rahman who came from Pabna district said they brought a total of 50 cattle at Nayabazar makeshift cattle market on Wednesday and they have already sold out 31 of them with good profits.
He also hoped to sell the rest of his cattle by Saturday night and head home on Sunday to celebrate Eid with his family members.
Ferdous Ahmed, a trader from Doulatpur in Kushtia, told UNB that he brought three bulls and sold one of them named Manna for 4.60 lakh on Friday. “Now buyers are bargaining for Dipjal for which I sought Tk 7 lakh. I raised the bulls with great care.”
He also said high fodder prices have made it tough for them to raise cattle.
Another trader Monjurul Islam who came from Pabna said buyers were offering very low prices for cattle. “So, we’re waiting for the last-moment sale.”
He said they bought 49 cattle this year and could sell only two of them till Friday.
The trader also said they are facing a challenge as the cost of rearing cattle has gone up, and demanded that the government provide them with loan and other facilities, including treatment for cattle. “We sell around 1,000 cattle every year. Six cows died last year for lack of proper treatment.”
Rashid Khan who bought two goats from Dhupkhola cattle market for Tk 21,000 said he was happy with his deal.
Bappi Hasan Murad, a leaseholder of Nayabazar cattle market, said medium-sized cows are being sold at higher prices following their higher demand among buyers. “Overall prices are relatively reasonable as there is an adequate supply.”
He said small-sized cattle are selling at Tk 50,000-80,000 each while medium-sized ones at Tk 1-2 lakh each and large-sized ones at Tk 2.5 -8 lakh each at their market.
“Customers are still observing the market trend expecting a further fall in prices. Besides, buyers are delaying to buy sacrificial animals for lack of space to keep cattle in their homes. Perhaps they’ll make the purchase Sunday,” Murad added.
Some 25 makeshift cattle markets were set up in the capital under Dhaka North and South City Corporations, up from 22 of last year.
Of them, DSCC is hosting 14 cattle markets.
According to the Department of Livestock Services (DLS), a total of 11,788,563 sacrificial animals are ready to meet the demand for 11,000,000 in this Eid-ul-Azha.