The nashpati (pear) you are buying for Tk260 a kilogram or more from vendors costs Tk180 a kg at Old Dhaka's Badamtoli, Waizghat, and Sadarghat wholesale markets.
It is the same for other fruits. A kilogram of green grapes costs Tk260 in retail markets but it is only Tk180 a kg at wholesale markets.
The difference ranges from Tk10 to Tk100 between the wholesale and retail prices of fruits in the capital city.
In Badamtali, Waizghat and Sadarghat, wholesalers sell local and imported fruits at far more reasonable prices than the retailers putting a high price on their fruit as they wish.
A retailer syndicate is raising the price of fruits to cash in on the higher demand in the month of Ramadan, say buyers.
In the wholesale market, apples go for Tk130 per kg, green apples for Tk150, Chinese apples Tk145, green grapes Tk180, red grapes Tk400, nashpati for Tk180, and pomegranate for Tk160 per kg. However, retailers are selling at a higher price, by up to Tk50-100 a kilogram.
In the retail market, apples sell for Tk180 per kg, green apples for Tk200, green grapes for Tk260, pomegranate for Tk250, and Nashpati/pears for Tk260 per kg.
Malta sells for Tk120 per kg in the wholesale market but it goes for Tk160 to 180 in the retail market.
Wholesalers at Waizghat in Old Dhaka, said although the price of fruits has been low since the beginning of Ramadan, retailers are selling at higher prices on pretext of Ramadan and hot weather.
There is no shortage of fruits in the market because of huge imports. Rather, the prices of most fruits have declined even since the beginning of Ramadan, they also claimed.
Of the imported fruits, retailers are selling dates at higher prices, at more than double the wholesale price.
Wholesaler Mohammad Shahjahan Hossain at Waizghat told TBS that Thai mangoes hit the market and they sell for Tk500 per kg. But the price of other fruits is normal. The prices of apples, grapes, pomegranates and malta are a little lower.
Among local fruits, a pineapple sells for Tk15 to Tk40 in the wholesale market, but retails for Tk30 to Tk100.
Guava is Tk30 per kg in wholesale markets and Tk 80 to 100 in retail.
Parvez Hossain, a fruit seller in Segunbagicha, told TBS the cost of transportation has gone up although the prices of fruits have decreased in the wholesale market. Besides, sales are low due to lockdown, so they have to sell at a slightly higher price. Also, more fruits rot when sales are low.
In the wholesale market, Sagor Kola (banana) sells for Tk15, chapa bananas for Tk15, and sabri kola for Tk 25 to 30. Retailers are selling bananas at more than double the price to buyers. In the retail market, sabri bananas sell for Tk40-60 per hali (4 pieces), champa bananas for Tk25 and sagor bananas for Tk25-40.
Among the local fruits, retailers are selling watermelon at a high price. In the wholesale market, watermelons sell for Tk200 per piece (medium size), but retailers are selling these watermelons for Tk300 to Tk500.
Retailers claim they have to buy watermelons at higher prices from the wholesale market. They charge a little higher due to the small size of the watermelon, spoilage and damage to many watermelons.
Abdul Karim, general secretary of Dhaka Metropolitan Fruit Importers and Exporters and Storekeepers and Traders Cooperative Society Ltd, told TBS that fruit imports are normal despite the Covid-19 lockdown. However, sales fell by about 20 percent due to the lockdown.
Visiting fruit warehouses and wholesale shops at Badamtali, Waizghat and Sadarghat, this correspondent saw fruit cartons being unloaded from trucks or pickups on the side of the road and being auctioned from trucks stretching from Sadarghat to Babubazar Bridge.
According to data given by the Fruit Traders Association and Badamtali Traders, about 180 to 200 trucks and pickups come to Badamtali's Waizghat every day and only imported fruits come. Fruits are sold for Tk15 to Tk20 lakh per truck. Sale of imported fruits at Waizghat is over Tk3 crore daily.
Besides, local fruit warehouses sell fruits worth around Tk5 crore, the traders said.
They also said the wholesale market saw a 20 per cent drop in fruit sales due to the lockdown.