The demand for the dates (Khajoor) has shot up in Hyderabad with the advent of Ramzan month. The good news, however, is that the prices of the dates haven't changed much. According to the traders, no significant increase in the price of dates can be seen this year as the prices already rose high in 2020 due to restrictions on the import of dates from other countries in view of the pandemic. The sources say that one kilogram of good quality dates can be purchased between Rs 200 and Rs 250.
Due to the pandemic and the lockdown across the country, the sales of dates were not encouraging for the traders last year. Many traders are heaving a sigh of relief that this year, sales so far are good if not high. Many traders are worried about possible impending restrictions in view of the increase in Covid cases so they are buying in huge quantities from Begum Bazar.
Hyderabad, being one of the biggest markets for dates in India, gets around 400 trucks of dates from various seaports in Mumbai, Chennai, and other ports which are imported from Tunisia, Iran, Algeria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and few other countries weeks before the start of the Ramzan's month.
A few of the varieties of dates like Hayani, Khadrawy, Mariam, Barhi, Khudri, Safawi, and Madhafti, which are popular for their distinct tastes, are also in high demand in the markets in the city. Ajwa is the costliest of all the varieties, which is priced at Rs 2,000 per kg as it is believed to have medicinal value as well. The ordinary variety that is priced around Rs 70 in the wholesale market is the one which has the highest sales.
Shaukat Baig, a trader, said now many small-time businessmen were setting up stalls in the markets and selling the variety at the competitive price. “It is helping people get a good quality date are an affordable rate,” he said.