Hyderabad is one of the biggest markets for dates in the country. With the advent of Ramzan month, the demand for the dates (Khajoor) has shot up in the city. However, the good news is that the prices of the commodity remained the same.

During the holy month of Ramzan, sales of several varieties of dates have picked pace in the wholesale and retail market.

Date vendors say the khajoors are sold between Rs 80 and Rs 500 per kg in the retail market, while in the wholesale market, the prices range between Rs 60 and Rs 1,500 per kg, depending on the quality. Mohammed Fayaz, a dates vendor says that black khajoor are preferred by many customers these days.There are also certain customers who prefer to buy dates from other countries. “Every year, I order different varieties of dates from different places. Before iftar, many devotees come to buy packets of these healthy dry fruits. Saudi and Irani dates are loved by many customers,” Fayaz said.

Another dates vendor at Charminar, who has been selling the fruit for the last 22 years, said he is satisfied by the ongoing business. “I have been selling Khajoor for last 22 years. I have different varieties of Khajoor like Saudi, Irani, Ajwa, Medjooj, Taiba, Kalmi and Mabroom. Alhamdullilah, the business is going well,” Mohammed Hamed said. The wholesale dealers in Begum Bazaar market say the dates are exported to the city from Dubai, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.

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Speaking to #KhabarLive, police personnel deployed in the market say that they ensure that people visiting Bazar should follow social distancing and wear a mask. Plus, the timings should be adhered to strictly as the market is only open from morning 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM.

Abdul Waheed, a trader at Mir Chowk, mentioned that his shop is stocking up the dates fearing a shortage.

“Whatever stock the shops have has been imported before the lockdown. Now with the demand surging there is an increase in the price and in the coming days, there will be a shortage too,” he said.

People were seen buying dates from the wholesale market as the prices are relatively lower. They were also seen bargaining for the local and foreign ones at the Begum Bazaar market. “We break our fast with a date. I bought some Saudi and local ones for my family members and other devotees too. This time around, I have felt there is no changes in the prices of dates. I think the prices should come down,“ one of the customers, Abdul Samad told #KhabarLive.

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Some traders have come up with home delivery service for their customers. “We give our e-mail address and contact numbers to the customer and dispatch the dates at their respective homes,“ another trader at Begum Bazaar said.

Many traders say there was no significant increase in the price of dates as the prices already rose high last year due to restrictions on import of dates from foreign countries in view of Covid-19 pandemic. “Prices have not increased this year. A kilogram of good quality date can be purchased between Rs 220 and Rs 270,” said Raj Kumar Tandon, a businessman from Begum Bazaar.

The sales of dates were not encouraging for the traders last year due to the pandemic and the lockdown across the country. “This time, sales so far are good if not high. Mostly traders visit Begum Bazaar for buying dates in wholesale. Many are worried of possible impending restrictions in view of increase in Covid cases so they are buying in huge quantities” said Santosh Jain, another trader at Begum Bazaar.

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Hyderabad is one of the biggest markets for dates in the country. The city gets around 400 trucks of dates from various seaports in Chennai, Mumbai and other ports. It is imported from Iran, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Iraq, and few other countries weeks before the start of the month of Ramzan.

A few of the varieties of dates like Mariam, Hayani, Barhi, Khadrawy, Safawi, Khudri, and Madhafti, which are popular for distinct tastes, are also sold in the markets in the city. The costliest of all the varieties is ‘Ajwa’ which is priced at Rs 2,000 per kg in the wholesale market. It is believed to have medicinal value too. The biggest share of the dates is the ordinary variety locally priced around Rs 70 in the wholesale market.

Shaukath 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 dates are an affordable rate,” he said. #KhabarLive #hydnews