Sales of appliances that are usually in demand ahead of Eid-ul-Adha – spices, knives, cleavers, vermicelli, animal feed, mats, etc – have seen a dull patch this time.
Small seasonal traders are now worried of losing their capital as they have only a day in their hands before Eid.
During visits to various markets and cattle markets in the capital on Monday, The Business Standard found such a grim picture while talking to traders.
Md Khairul Islam, a cattle seller in a temporary shop in Khilgaon, said, "There is not much sale of animal feed this year. I have invested Tk20,000. It seems to be difficult to get it returned."
Khilgaon wholesale market grocer Mohammad Halim said sales of semai-noodles or confectionery items are much lower than last year. Actually, there is not much enjoyment among the people this Eid.
Talking to some traders in Malibagh Bazar and Karwan Bazar, the correspondent found the same grim picture.
Usually the blacksmiths did not have time to take a rest ahead of Eid-ul-Azha. But this time they witnessed a completely different picture. The blacksmiths are not busy this time thanks to two consecutive weeks of lockdown. They are having a lazy time most of the day.
Rahim Sheikh, a shop owner at the blacksmith corner in Karwanbazar, said they used to start making various kitchen tools including chopper, knife, boti, machetes a month before Eid. Besides, there was repair work of used tools. But all the hopes for business were dashed by the lockdown.
Helal, owner of Zakir Enterprise, a spice shop in Karwanbazar, said sales of spices have declined slightly this year compared to last year. Actually, people do not want to spend extra money this time due to the drop in income. They are buying only what they need.
Pati seller Mohammad Kamrul in Khilgaon said "I have sold 30 patis since Sunday morning and earned about Tk5000. I brought 500 patties."
All the parties were sold out in two days last year, he added.
Meanwhile, Bimala Akhter, a seller of grass and jackfruit leaves for cattle, said, "Last year, I made a profit of Tk2,500 in two days before last year's eid, by investing Tk3,000. This year also I have brought grass worth Tk3000. But not much grass was sold yet. Only Tk1200 has been sold in the last two days."
She said, "We have to buy a bunch of grass for Tk12 and sell it for Tk15 to 20."
Md Sultan, who came from Jamalpur to sell "khaita" – a wooden block for chopping meat, said, "I work at a sawmill. I used to sell khaita during Eid-ul-Adha. I have brought 300 khaitas this year. I sold only 70 in the last two days. There is only a day to sell the rest. I was able to sell all the khaitas last year."
"We have to pay a handsome amount to transport this item from Jamalpur. I don't think there will be any profit." he added.
Regarding the price, he said, the big ones are sold for Tk400-450 and the small ones for Tk200-250.