On the first day of Ramadan every year, the price of eggplants usually crosses Tk100 per kilogram, while that of cucumbers reaches around Tk80, and green chilli cost about Tk150-180 per kg.
But that is not the case this year, as sellers have to sell off their goods within limited selling hours.
Price of eggplants increased from Tk40 per kilogram to Tk60 on Saturday, while cucumber prices went from Tk20 to Tk40. Green chilli prices jumped from Tk40 to Tk50-60 a few days ago and remained unchanged till the first day of Ramadan this year.
Onion prices increased from Tk35-40 to Tk55-60 a couple of days earlier and have remained the same.
However, the price of muri (puffed rice) – a popular iftar food – has increased in the capital by Tk20 to reach Tk80.
Among all the essentials, the price of ginger has increased the most and is being sold at Tk300-350 per kilogram. But because of regular drives by the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection, imported ginger was being sold at Tk130-150 per kilogram in the wholesale market.
Businessmen at the retail markets said iftar goods are sold mostly in the afternoon during Ramadan. But now the shops have to close by 2 pm because of the limited business hours set to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading.
Tarikul Islam, a seller at the Rampura market, said if he could not sell the green chilis, cucumbers and tomatoes he had, they would have some spots by the next day and their weight would decrease. So, the more he could sell, the better for him.
Shakil Mia, a vegetable seller on Wapda road, said, "There was not much rush of customers as currently, there aren't that many people in Dhaka. However, there is ample supply of vegetables."
Lemon and coriander, two very popular ingredients for iftar, were also seen being sold at low prices. Depending on size and quality, the price of every four lemons varied from Tk20 to Tk35. Tomatoes were sold at Tk25-30 per kilogram.
Businessmen in the city said usually the restaurants and shops on both sides of the streets sold chhola, muri, peyaju, halim, and other iftar items from midday to evening during the Ramadan, but this year the law enforcement agencies have directed them not to that.
However, many street peddlers were carrying fruits like date, banana, apple, orange, pineapple, guava etc on rickshaw-vans and selling them.
Shafikul Islam, a shopper at a market in the Mugda area, said the prices of fruits have soared a little as the demand for these was very high.
Today banana was sold at Tk75-80 per dozen, although it was sold at Tk60-65 a few days ago.
Guava was being sold at Tk70-80 per kilogram, watermelon at Tk25-35, apple at Tk200-220, malta (blood orange) at Tk170-180, orange at Tk270-280 and small pineapples at Tk20-25 per piece.