The sales of sacrificial animals gained momentum in the city on Monday, as buyers and traders gathered in large numbers in cattle markets across the city two days before Eid-ul-Azha, the second-largest festival for Muslims.
After a sluggish start on Sunday, sales of sacrificial animals picked up markedly on Monday afternoon. The markets are brimming with an array of animals including cows, goats, sheep, camels, and buffaloes.
During an on-site inspection, it was observed that prices of cattle were considerably higher compared to last year. The formal trading began on Sunday but gained momentum on Monday with an influx of buyers.
The city, divided into two jurisdictions by Dhaka North and South City Corporation, features a total of 21 temporary cattle markets, complemented by two permanent ones. Typically, residents tend to acquire animals closer to Eid due to the limited availability of space for raising them within the city.
“Cattle markets in the capital are likely to see a surge of consumers in the days leading up to Eid,” said Nasimul Islam, a trader at Gabtoli cattle market, one of the bustling markets in Dhaka.
The market is now operating at full capacity, and traders anticipate sales to peak in the next 48 hours.
There has been a considerable inflow of cattle into Dhaka for Eid-ul-Azha, and many more are expected to arrive. However, several buyers expressed concerns over the escalated prices. Traders defended the hike, attributing it to the higher costs of cattle feed.
During a visit, it was evident that buyers, constrained by budgets, preferred smaller cows. Sahid Hossain, a buyer, purchased a small cow weighing approximately 80 kgs for Tk 81,000. Another buyer procured a 140 kgs cow for Tk 1,40,000. The majority of transactions ranged between Tk 80,000 to Tk 1,50,000.
The escalated prices have driven several buyers to opt for goats instead of cows.
According to government data, approximately 12.5 million animals are prepared for slaughter this Eid, including 4.8 million cows and buffaloes, 7.6 million goats and sheep, and 2,581 other animals.
The demand is estimated at around 10 million. Last year, 12.1 million animals were available, of which 9.9 million were sacrificed.