In the last one month, ginger and garlic prices have gone down almost 50% in Khatunganj, the biggest wholesale food and commodities market in the country.
Traders said prices continued to decline for the two raw spices as wholesale buyers from different districts and upazilas were unable to come to the market in the ongoing strict lockdown.
Importers and traders of raw spices in Khatunganj said they were now going to incur huge losses due to an oversupply of the cooking ingredients in the market.
Md Jinnat Ali, owner of JM Traders, said the cost of importing ginger from China, including all expenses, was Tk130 per kg and garlic was Tk120 per kg. But the spice items are selling in the market at half the cost.
At this rate, importers are going to count Tk10-15 lakh in loss per container, and many traders will not be able to repay their bank loans.
Khatunganj wholesale traders say the price of ginger has gone down the most during this time. At present, Chinese ginger is selling for Tk70-75 per kg which was over Tk150 a month ago.
A month ago, Myanmar ginger sold at over Tk100 per kg which is currently being sold at a maximum price of Tk50.
At this time, the price of garlic has come down by at least Tk60-65 per kg. Chinese garlic sells for Tk78-80 per kg in the market which was Tk135-140 a month ago.
A month ago, local garlic was Tk60-65 per kg and it sells for Tk40.
Hamidullah Market is the wholesale zone for raw spices (onion, garlic and ginger) in Khatunganj. Hamidullah Market Traders Association General Secretary Md Idris Mia said that due to the continuous lockdown, district and upazila traders rarely visited the market.
"Even before Eid, spices did not sell much, and now, after Eid, sales have come down even more. Raw spices cannot be stored for long. If they are kept in the godown for a long time, the spices rot and it costs more money to put it in cold storage. Under these circumstances, importers are now being forced to sell spices at about half the purchase price," he added.