Traders, however, have attributed the rise in the sale to cheaper prices and availability
Sales of mosquito coils along with other mosquito repellents have increased manifold in the capital city as Aedes-borne dengue virus takes its worst toll on people.
Traders, however, have attributed the rise in the sale to cheaper prices and availability. They say people of lower-middle and low-income groups are buying the products most.
Mansur Helal, proprietor of New Bikrampur Store at Farmgate, says the demand for coil has increased manifold since last month when the dengue fever started to spread to every corner of the capital city.
“A month before, I would sell 12 packets of coils in a week but now my sales have gone up to 120-150 packets in a week,” he says, looking happy.
"The sales of Chinese coils are high in the market because of their steady supply. Besides, Goodknight and Eagle coils are also on high demand," he adds.
Md Kashem Mollah, another trader at Green Road, says he sold about 15 cartons of coils this week. “Earlier, it took about one and a half month to sell 10 cartons coils.”
Mollah goes on to say that the city dwellers are worried and are doing whatever they can do to ward off dengue.
Nasir Uddin, a wholesaler of Chinese mosquito coil Baoma and ARS brand at Kawranbazar, recounts how he used to sell about 60 cartons (each containing 60 packets) of Bauma coil and about 40 cartons of ARS brand a month before the dengue situation worsened.
“But it has at least doubled this month,” he says.
Currently, according to traders, there are about 48 mosquito coil brands available in the market. Among them only 15 are popular. The demand for Neem and Booster coil is high in the market.
Consumers have alleged that vested quarters are making money by hiking prices of mosquito coils on the plea of short supply.
Islam Hossain of Farmgate says that before the dengue outbreak he used to buy three packets of coils for his family per month spending Tk80 for each.
“Now I have to buy more but prices have gone up adding to my monthly expenditure," he adds.
Some retail buyers have claimed that shopkeepers are charging extra prices.
According to them, the coil of Tk5 each is being sold at Tk8 due to the higher demand.
Wholesalers, however, have blamed retailers for the coil price escalation.
“Retailers (small shopkeepers) in the area are taking advantage of the dengue panic,” Shariful Islam, a wholesaler at New Market, says.
Obaidul Haque, business manager of ACI Consumer Brands, has told Dhaka Tribune that the overall sale of mosquito coil increased in last couple of weeks but inferior quality of coils flooded the market.
He claims that his company produces better quality coils but they are failing to meet the sales target due to huge supply of low quality products.
Khairul Islam, area manager of Dhaka zone of Godrej Household Products (Bangladesh), says their current sales have increased compared to previous months.
“Considering the present situation of dengue outbreak, we have offered to give one packet of Good Knight mosquito coil free with the sale of two packets”, he says.
During visits, prices of various brands' mosquito coils have been found ranging between Tk50 and Tk120 at different markets.