Hilsa prices soar while export cheap
Hilsa has become pricier since export of the national fish to India commenced last week.
Sellers said the prices rose because of a drop in supply to the local market.
Each kg of the fish is being sold to India at $10 or roughly Tk 854, which is a lot less than the price even in the wholesale markets of Bangladesh.
At Mohipur Fish Market in Kalapara, Patuakhali, hilsa weighing over one kg is being sold at around Tk 1,200 and less than one kg at Tk 650, said traders of the market.
Mohipur is a major source of hilsa in the country.
Fish seller Fazlu said the prices have been raised by Tk 4,000-5,000 per maund (roughly 40 kg) since the export started on Wednesday.
On Thursday, a hilsa weighing 900 gram was sold for Tk 950 at a wholesale fish market in Barishal, and the ones weighing 1.2 kg for Tk 1200, said Nirab Hossain Tutul, secretary of the Barishal Wholesale Fish Market.
As of yesterday evening, 488 tonnes of hilsa was exported to India through Benapole Land Port, said Ashadul Islam, inspector of quality control at the Department of Fisheries in Benapole.
Most of the hilsa exported to India is over a kg, said a source at the Fisheries department.
Asked about the lower export price, Nizamuddain, owner of Union Venture Limited, which has been approved to sell 40 tonnes to India, said his firm is buying hilsa from remote markets where the price is lower.
Azizur Rahman, commissioner of Benapole Customs, said, "We are following the commerce ministry's instruction over the price of the hilsa."
The commerce ministry on Monday gave permission to 52 firms to export 2,080 tonnes of hilsa to India. Even though the decision seemed to affect prices in the local market, the government on Thursday allowed 11 more firms to export 440 tonnes to India.
In 2020, the government allowed hilsa export of 1,475 tonnes to India during Durga Puja.
The ministry order said the export procedure should be complete by October 3, because the National Taskforce Committee on Hilsa Resource Development imposed a 22-day ban on catching hilsa from October 4.
(Our Correspondent from Benapole contributed to the report)