The high demand for hilsa fish ahead of Pahela Baishakh spirals its prices which reminds fish trader Kamal Uddin of Eid-ul-Azha, when cattle prices sky rocket every year.
According to him, a wholesaler at Kaptan Bazar sells the coveted fish at double the usual price ahead of Pahela Baishakh. A large hilsa weighing around 1kg sells for around Tk 1,000 on any other day but ahead of the Bangla new year, it sells for Tk 2,000 apiece.
A pair of hilsa weighing around 800 grams each was sold for Tk 3,000 at Karwan Bazar, another wholesale kitchen market.
“Traders usually start stockpiling hilsa seven to eight months ahead of Pahela Baishakh,” Kamal claimed.
It has become almost a tradition in the cities and towns to have a plate of cooked rice soaked in water overnight with a slice or two of fired hilsa on Pahela Baishakh morning.
This drives the high demand for hilsa and fuels spiraling of its prices.
Worldly-wise consumers try to get their share of the national fish weeks before Pahela Baishakh to avert paying more than the usual.
“Still, I bought a pair. It won't feel like a new year has begun without having its taste on the first day of Baishakh,” said a customer at Karwan Bazar yesterday.