News Desk: The prices of hilsa fish have remained high in the fish markets across the country despite abundant supply and price drops in the fishing hubs.
Visiting the fishing hubs and fish markets revealed that there was a significant hike in the supply of hilsa as compared to the previous week. However, the price of the fish remained almost the same as before.
The fishermen started to go fishing in both the Bay and the rivers as the 65-day ban on fishing imposed by the government ended on July 23. The ban was imposed on May 20 to ensure the smooth breeding of fish.
As July to August is the peak fishing time for hilsa, fishermen recently saw netting of a good amount of hilsa. Due to increased supply, prices of hilsa at fishing hubs have also decreased.
However, while hilsa was being sold at an average price of Tk 500 per kg at the fishing hubs, prices have not decreased much in the retail markets across the country, including in the capital.
In Dhaka’s fish markets, hilsa weighing 550-650 grams was being sold at Tk 850-900 per kg, 750-800 grams at Tk 1,000-1,150 per kg, 900 grams-1kg at Tk 1,200-1,300 per kg, and around 2kg at Tk 1,500-1,950 per kg.
Hilsa was being sold at Tk 600-1,200 per kg on Wednesday as opposed to Tk 600-1,400 per kg last week, according to the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).
“We expected the prices to come down a lot when hilsa fishing started after the ban. But the prices did not fall as expected,” said Mahbuba Alam, a buyer at the Mugda kitchen market in the capital.
The supply of hilsa fish in the market has increased compared to last week, said Aminul Islam who is a retail fish trader at the same kitchen market. However, he says that the price of hilsa has not decreased much compared to two weeks ago.
“We have to buy from the wholesale market at a higher price. So, we have to sell at a higher price,” Aminul said.
“There aren’t many big fish (hilsa) in the market. Most of the fish weigh under 1kg,” he added.
However, there is a great difference between the prices of hilsa in the retail market and the wholesale market.
Hilsa weighing 600-700 grams was sold at Tk 600-650 per kg, 900-950 grams at Tk 800 per kg, 1-1.5 kg at Tk 1,020-1,050 per kg in wholesale at Karwan Bazaar on Thursday.
According to Karwan Bazar Sonali Matsya Arat Fish Traders Association General Secretary Zilkad Gazi, the supply of hilsa has increased a lot compared to three days ago and prices have also decreased a bit.
“However, the price will not drop if hilsa smuggling to neighbouring countries cannot be prevented,” he added.