With only one day remaining before this Eid-ul-Azha, poor sales of slaughtering tools and accessories due to lower-than-usual demand amid the ongoing pandemic are frustrating traders of these items.
The traders said their sales volume have drastically fallen below one-third of usual sales in Eid-ul-Azha season, as the number of sacrificial animals also appears to be much lower this year.
Slaughtering tools mostly involve sharp knife, machete (chapati), kitchen knife (boti), log-seat (khatia), and mat (chatai).
The poor demand caused price fall of these items to some extent, they said, and added that assuming a declining trend they also procured such accessories in reduced number.
However, during a visit to the blacksmiths' zone at Kawran Bazar in the city, the FE correspondent found a higher-than-usual crowd.
"Actually this is not a crowd at all, if you consider the Qurbani season. The coronavirus pandemic has shattered our business this year," said a trader named Alamgir Hossain.
He also said standard slaughtering knives are selling at Tk 800-1,000 each, depending on quality and size, special machete at around Tk 500, and typical machete at Tk 350-400.
Sacrificial animal skinning knives are trading at prices between Tk 50-100 each, and Chinese axe Tk 500-700, added Mr Hossain, proprietor of Janani Trader.
Another trader Jafar Karmokar said the blacksmiths they have been in trouble in the recent years due to unavailability of coal, whereas they are facing setback this year due to the pandemic.
The brick-kiln owners are providing the blacksmiths powder-coal instead of solid ones, as per the government directive, thus increasing their manufacturing cost.
"Now the coronavirus outbreak is taking toll on our business, which has drastically shrunk in recent times."
He was selling slaughtering knives at prices ranging from Tk 800 to Tk 2,500 each, machete Tk 400-1,200 each, skinning knives Tk 80-150 each, and kitchen knife at Tk 600 per kg.
Traders said they are charging Tk 20-200 for whetting the metal tools based on their size.
Ronju Ahmed, a private sector official, was seen looking for buying some new tools and whetting old ones.
"We process our sacrificial animal by ourselves, that's why I've come here to sharpen some apparatus and buy some new ones."
He said prices of these tools seemed reasonable to him, but he had to bargain for long.
Some other traders were seen selling sacrificial meat processing accessories like mat and log-seat.
A teen-age trader Kawsar Ali was selling log-seats between Tk 200 and Tk 1,000 each.
"These are very good quality log-seats, made of old tamarind wood. Last year, we used to sell Tk 9,000-10,000 per day before Eid-ul-Azha."
"But now we are not getting good number of customers, and can sell products worth Tk 3,000 only. Hope we may draw higher number of customers on Friday."
Mats, made of hogla, were selling at Tk 150-200 per piece.
These accessories are available in other parts of city, including New Market, Gulshan-1, Chawkbazar, Khilgaon and Mirpur-1 as well as in the city corporation markets.
In addition to this, the items are also being sold at the temporary cattle markets.