Fish sellers have lowered the Hilsa prices at different markets in Dhaka but are not getting enough customers amid the nationwide shutdown and holidays over the coronavirus situation.
Visiting several markets in the city, our correspondent yesterday found the price of the much-coveted fish was lower than that any time else in the past.
But ahead of the Pahela Baishakh every year, Hilsa prices increase by leaps and bounds.
Hilsas weighing around 800 grams were selling for Tk600 per kg, lowered from Tk700-750 previously, while those weighing around 900 grams were selling for Tk700-800 a kg.
The ones weighing 1-1.3kg sold for Tk1,000-1,050 per kg, Tk300-350 lower than that in usual times.
At Hatirpul kitchen market, a seller tried to sell some Hilsas weighing around 1.2kg apiece for as low as Tk1,000, but apparently he was not very successful.
According to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh, the price of Hilsa is 23.53 percent lower this year than it was at the same period last year.
However, sellers said even lowered price of the fish were not attracting many customers to the market.
M Sharif, a fish seller at the Rampura kitchen market, told The Business Standard, "I am keeping the Hilsas covered with ice most of the time. I bring them out only if any customer asks for them, but that is happening rarely now."
Aminul Islam, another fish seller at the market, said, "The fifteen days before the Pahela Baishakh is a good period to sale Hilsa. But this year the coronavirus has halted everything. The few customers coming to the market are not interested in buying Hilsa."
Every year people throng markets to buy Hilsa to celebrate the Pahela Baishakh – the first day of the Bengali new year.
This year, the government has cancelled all such celebrations and people across the country are also not getting out of their homes due to corona virus situation.