Chittagong Customs House has set another date to auction off 93 tonnes of unclaimed apple and ginger after none of the 40 participants made any bids in yesterday's auction for the produce imported in early October.
This was the second auction organised by the customs house for the produce imported by Noakhali-based Azizia Trading, Chittagong-based Yusuf Corporation and MKB Corporation and Dhaka-based Karim & Brothers.
The firms did not take delivery of the consignments despite repeated notifications from the customs authority, said Mia Md Nazmul Hoque, assistant commissioner (auction) of Chittagong Customs House.
On December 18, the customs authority called the first auction for a 24-tonne container of apple and three 23-tonne containers of ginger. Only 7 of the 50 bidders offered prices and four of them came up with highest prices.
The highest price offered for a kg of apple was Tk 13.33, much lower from the reserve value of Tk 85, Hoque said.
Similarly, a kilogram of ginger fetched the highest price of Tk 9.28 -- way lower than the reserve price of Tk 79.28. The reserve value for the four containers was set at Tk 75.10 lakh but the most they fetched was Tk 9.60 lakh, according to the auction department.
“We can't sell the goods at such cheap rates,” said AKM Nuruzzaman, commissioner of Chittagong customs.
After failing to get the expected prices, the authority decided to call another auction that took place yesterday.
Nuruzzaman suspects the bidders might have formed a syndicate to rig the auction.
“If they think they can buy the items at such low rates they are wrong. We will go for re-auctions.” In the previous auction held on October 15, apple was sold at Tk 45 a kg and ginger at Tk 40 a kg.