Cattle traders pin hopes on biggest annual sales. Customers remain far apart on prices

  • Joyanta Saha, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2020-07-27 16:38:13 BdST

Most of the customers who come to Masud Rana, a cattle trader, make queries about prices and then leave. None of them show any interest in buying an animal. Masud came to the sacrificial animal market at Postogola in Dhaka with 60 cows from Kushtia, a district known for cattle farming.

Al Amin, Mohammad Mohsin, Reaz Uddin and many other traders reiterated the same. Some customers offer such a low price that the traders will be left with no profit if they sell the animal.

Traders have ranged the price for a local ox weighing about 185 kg to 300 kg at Tk 150,000 to Tk 230,000, they said. A local crossbred cow weighing 260 kg to 300 kg is priced between Tk 80,000 and Tk 100,000.

The price of a big-sized bull weighing about 370 kg to 590 kg ranges between Tk 100,000 and Tk 400,000, while a local bull is priced at Tk 250,000 to Tk 450,000, depending on the size of the animal.

“The market has enough supply of animals, but customers have no interest in buying. They just come and ask the price and leave. We’re doomed if it continues,” said Mohammed Mohsin, a cattle trader from Kushtia.

“I don’t expect to make a profit this time. Only one or two customers offered a decent price today. The customers offer a price Tk 60,000-70,000 less than what we ask for. We can’t afford such a huge loss,” said Al Amin, another trader.

Sellers were waiting for customers at the cattle market in Kamalapur where animals started to arrive on Thursday.

Shahin Alam from Jhenaidah could not sell a single cow since Thursday.

“We can’t sell an animal as the customers are offering very low prices. If we ask for Tk 150,000 they are offering Tk 80,000. There will be no profit if we sell at this rate,” said Shafi Alam, another trader.

“It’s hard to predict the sale this year due to the coronavirus epidemic. I don’t think it’ll meet our expectations. Let’s see what happens two days prior to the Eid day. Maybe the number of customers will increase later,” said Yusuf Ali, another cattle trader.

Among the 11 cattle markets under Dhaka South City Corporation, the market in North Shahjahanpur was found crowded on Sunday.

“Customers have started to visit and show interest. I have seen one or two of them buying animals if they reach an agreeable price,” said Pijir Mondal from Jhenaidah. 

The traders, however, were discontented with the price quoted by the customers.

“How can they quote such a low price! Can we sell a cow at that price?” said Md Murad Ali, a frustrated trader from Natore.

“I bought a cow last year. This time they are asking Tk 35,000 more for a similar cow. I am aware that this year the price will shoot up amid the coronavirus epidemic and floods,” said Mostafizur Rahman, a customer

INDIAN CATTLE AVAILABLE 

Indian cows were found in Postogola and Shahjahanpur markets despite the ban imposed by the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock.

They brought those cows much ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha, said the traders in the Postogola market.

“Indian cows are in demand. None of the lessees of the animal market informed us of the ban. We never heard that we can’t sell Indian cows,” said Masud Rana, a trader.

The lessees of the market were not found to talk about the issue.

“How can they impose a ban without analysing the market?” said Shahin Alam, another trader.

NO HEALTH PROTOCOL 

Though Dhaka South City Corporation ordered people to strictly adhere to the health protocol in the sacrificial animal markets, no-one is following it.

“I left my mask at home. I should have worn it,” said Suman Mia, a buyer at the Postogola animal market.

bdnews24.com did not see any initiative by the traders to supply soaps, hand sanitisers and masks in any animal market.

“I didn’t feel like wearing a mask. Who are you to ask me about it?” said Saddam Hossain, a buyer apparently angered by a question on why he was outdoors without a mask.