Amid a supply shortage of imported fruits -- that reportedly meets 60 percent of the country's demand - prices are rising in markets at the Bangladesh capital.
Importers say a large volume of fruits are stuck at the Chattogram Port as flight shutdowns have meant paperwork is not reaching banks on time, so that they cannot release the consignments.
Until the beginning of this week, approximately 14,234 tonnes of apple, pears and orange and dates from South Africa, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE were stuck at the port, according to Bangladesh Fresh Fruit Importers' Association (BFFIA).
A similar amount of fruits was en route, and is supposed to reach the port by April 20, they added. If these cannot be released soon, businessmen fear that the country will see a steep rise in fruit prices during Ramadan, when the fruit consumption usually goes up.
During last Ramadan, BFFIA statistics show about 7,000 tonnes of orange, 10,000 tonnes of apple and pears and 40,000 tonnes of dates were imported. About 35,000 tonnes of dates are already in cold storage this year. BFFIA has ordered 5000 tonnes of orange, 8,000 tonnes of apple and pear and 6,000 tonnes of dates, targeting Ramadan this year.