Traders complain about high rents at new central markets

The monthly rent of the shops and barns at new central markets has been increased more than ten-fold than those at the current central market, according to the traders, local Arabic daily Arrayah reported. If the monthly rent for a shop at the central market did not exceed QR375, the same at new central markets exceeds QR4,000, they told the daily.

The high rent would negatively impact business, the traders worry, by cutting into the profit and unduly increasing the operating expenses. They complained that their profit margin of the livestock sales is already limited as they buy livestock at wholesale prices and sell them one by one, in a process that entail daily expenses.

The traders are also concerned that the high rentals would eventually cause the prices of livestock to go up for the end consumer in addition to inflating the prices of other food products at the new markets. Besides the high rental rates, traders have to look for nearby workers’ accommodations.

Hamad al-Marri, a trader, said that the wholesale traders at the market have decided to raise the price of a single head of livestock by QR100 to cover the extra cost of the new rental rates of their barns and fodder storehouses. Consequently, the retailer will add around QR100 on each head to maintain a reasonable profit, which means that consumers have to pay more.

Massoud al-Ahbabi, another trader, said that he pays only QR100 a month as rent for his barn at the current central market and did not submit an application to get a barn at new central markets due to the high rents, which he feels will make him suffer a loss. In addition, he described the new barns as narrower compared to the old ones. This will further add transportation costs as more trips would have to be made to bring the required numbers of livestock from the main supplier’s barns. Hamidi al-Marri, a trader, stressed that Al Wakrah city is excellent for commercial and tourist projects but not ideal for a livestock central market because there aren’t enough number of barns nearby. He suggested shifting the livestock market to locations such as Al Sheehaniya, Rawdat Rashid or Abu Samra Road as these are considered to have centres for raising livestock, and would ease supply to the market.

Ibrahim al-Ghazali, a trader, stressed that the high rental rates at new central markets could eventually cause meat prices to increase considerably and affect consumers, the daily added.

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