Cattle markets in Dhaka saw very few buyers on the night before Eid-ul-Azha even though there were many sacrificial animals left to be sold.
Traders who brought sacrificial animals to markets at Bhasantek, Kachukhet and Gabtoli were still waiting to sell them off and others were counting their losses after having to sell the cattle off at low prices.
Abu Bakar, a cattle trader from Sirajganj brought 20 cows to the cattle market at Bhasantek on Wednesday. Among the 20, he has been able to sell 17 cows, eight of them at the buying price and other nine with a loss of 10 to 15 thousand per cow, he told The Daily Star.
“Some buyers are offering half the selling price for the rest of the three cows,” Bakar said.
Another cattle trader at the Bhasantek market came from Kushtia’s Ataikula upazila with six big cows which he bought two years ago at Tk 90,000 each. He spent around Tk 2 lakhs on each of the cows in the last two years.
He made profits from selling only two of the cows. The other two had to be sold for Tk two lakhs each. And he still has two others left to be sold. “The buyers were offering less price than expected two days ago too, so I did not sell these two cows. But now they are offering half the price. I never expected to be offered such low prices for my cows,” the trader from Kushtia said.
Abdur Rahim, a trader from Gafargaon upazila of Mymensingh who brought fifteen cows to sell at the Kachukhet market said there were only butcher shop owners at the market now instead of real buyers. “Butchers are offering ridiculous prices for the cows. They intend to keep the animals for a few days and then sell their meat later at their shops,” Abdur Rahim said.
According to statistics of the Department of Livestock (DLS), there are more than 1.17 crore cattle, including cows, bulls, buffaloes, goats and sheep in the market this Eid.
Last year, there were 1.15 crore cattle in the market and about 1.05 crore of those were slaughtered in the Eid.
To assess the demand for sacrificial animals in a particular year, the DLS usually adds five lakh to the number of cattle slaughtered in the previous year. It estimated that the demand this year is 1.10 crore.