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9/30/2006

Hair Trade Expands into Bangladesh

Filed under: bangladesh,global islands — admin @ 7:54 am

Hair traders from Arakan State have turned to Bangladesh markets to buy hair from local Bangladeshis for cheaper prices since hair has become a rare commodity in Arakan State, following the exporting of several tons of hair to China a few years back, a local trader reports.

“We are now purchasing several tons of hair from local Bangladesh traders with cheaper prices, but the quality is very poor and very different than hair from Burma,” said a hair trader.

In Bangladesh, Arakanese traders can by a kilogram of hair for TK 1,300, and a mung, which is 40 kilograms, for TK 5,200. Strands of hair are TK 2,700 per kilogram and TK 18,000 per mung.

In the hair markets of Rangoon and Mandalay, a viss, or 2.5 kilograms, is 60,000 kyat, while the highest quality hair is priced around 155,000 kyat. After purchase, hair traders from Burma send the hair to the Chinese markets of Yunnan Province.

A source says that in the past, Bangladesh traders had no experience in the hair trade, but they now know the business well – bringing hair from India and selling it to Burmese hair traders. There are now a few Bangladeshi traders involved in the business in the border area of Burma.

Many traders from Burma are buying hair from Bangladesh to export to China, but authorities from both Bangladesh and Burma collect large bribes at border crossings from the hair traders.

One trader said that in Arakan State a few years back, many young women were cutting their hair to sell to traders, but nowadays Arakanese hair is a rare commodity in the state.

“Although there has been no hair trade in Bangladesh before, it is now a lucrative business there, with many traders working in the hair trade,” said a trader.

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