The demand for hot spices is high every year before Eid-ul-Azha. From wholesale to retail market, sales are higher everywhere. Due to Corona, this time the exact opposite picture is in the spice market. Falling prices and demand in the international market reduce, while the price of spices in the wholesale market.
Hot spices are completely import dependent. Due to the corona, the demand in the world market has decreased and the price of spices has come down. For the same reason, the use has decreased in the country. Hot spices are most commonly used in social and corporate events and in hotels and restaurants in the country. There is no demand for spices in these sectors in Corona. Although the demand decreased, the import did not decrease. Traders want to get out of the market by selling as there is sufficient stock. The price is falling.
Amar Kanti Das, senior vice-president of the Bangladesh Wholesale Hot Spices Traders Association, said a meeting at the Commerce Ministry before Eid-ul-Fitr had announced a reduction in prices from their organization. Now the price of spices has come down much more than that price. Even if there is demand on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, the price will not increase. Because, there are adequate stocks of spices.
According to traders, 8 types of hot spices are sold in the country. These are cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, nutmeg, jayattri and star spice. 82% of these spices are imported through Chittagong port. About 18 percent of imports from India through land ports.
In the just ended financial year, 51,894 tons of hot spices were imported through Chittagong port. The import value of these spices including customs duty is Tk 1,254 crore. This spice is sold in the wholesale market for three thousand crore rupees. Compared to the 2018-19 financial year, the import of spices has increased by about one percent.
Cardamom is the most expensive of the eight types of hot spices. Before Corona, the price of this spice in the wholesale market was around Rs 4,000 per kg. Last month it came down to Tk 2,800. Now it is being sold at a lower price of Rs 2,420 to Rs 2,600. 99% of cardamom is imported from Guatemala. Prices are falling by almost half because of falling prices in the international market. Again, some amount of cardamom is being imported from India. As a result, the market is still declining. The port imported 2,650 tonnes of cardamom in the last financial year.
Cumin is the most widely used spice in hot spices. Most of the cumin seeds are imported from India. The price of this product has also come down from Tk 330 per kg to Tk 255-260. In the last financial year, 24,000 tons of cumin was imported through the port.
The prices of spices in the wholesale market are declining due to falling prices and demand in the international market. So prices will not increase during Eid-ul-Azha.