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Rawhide collection stumbles

Published : 25 Jul 2021 09:37 PM | Updated : 26 Jul 2021 12:24 AM

The rawhide collection during the Eid-ul-Azha has been dropped drastically this year.

Following the government's initiative, rawhide price was expected to increase according to the market demand.

Everyone expected that the seasonal trade of the rawhide would take off this year but unfortunately it didn't happen. 

This time the amount of animals' skin collected during the Eid-ul-Azha has been reduced in the capital's Posta. The demand of the warehouse keepers is 10 to 15 percent less than they were having last year. 

Due to the Covid-19 situation, this year the number of sacrificed animals has also reduced which is another reason of poor rawhide collection. According to the Hide and Skin Merchant Association, an association of warehouse keepers who conserved rawhides, the supply of rawhide was not affluent due to pandemic. However, some 10 to 15 percent less rawhides were collected in this Eid. 

Posta rawhide traders said that due to the salt crisis, about 30 percent less rawhides could be preserved than the last year. Moreover, the number of animals slaughtered this year was less due to coronavirus.

It was found that even a few years ago a cow hide was sold for Tk 2,500 to Tk 3,000. The price of a cow hide was Tk 250 to Tk 300 this year. As a result, like the last two-three years, the orphans and the destitute who have a right to the skin of the sacrificial animal suffered financially along with the seasonal traders. 

Seasonal and wholesale traders claim that they did not get good price of leather like last year. However, this time the market was bit better than the last year. On the other hand, due to the pandemic this time the students could not be seen from the madrasa to collect the skins of the sacrificial animals. 

Hundreds of pieces of unsold sacrificial animal skins were left abandoned on the roads in Hazaribagh. However, in the beginning, cow's skin went up from Tk 300 to Tk 350 and goat's skin from Tk 50 to Tk 60. But over time, the price of leather has dropped.

People who have sacrificed animals informed this journalist that no seasonal businessman or traders came to purchase cattle skins till noon of the Eid day. At the afternoon, few people came but they refused to pay as per the government fixed price. In this situation, most of them donated their skins to different Madrasa. 

While talking to some seasonal traders it was learnt that, wholesalers do not want to purchase hide from them. They are interested to buy them from Madrasa where they can offer low price. 

However, storekeepers and tanners said they were buying leather with at least Tk 150 to Tk 200 more than the last time.

In this regard, the general secretary of the Bangladesh Tanners Association Sakhawat Ullah told Bangladesh Post, “Skin collection has improved a bit compared to last year due to government and stakeholders efforts. We are even paying high rate than last year”.

Mohiuddin Ahmed Mahin, Chairman of the Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leathergoods and Footwear Exporters Association (BFLLFEA) said, “This time we are buying raw hide for at least Tk 200 more per piece.” 

According to the Livestock Department, this time the number of animals Sacrifice in Chattogram is five percent less than last year. This has reduced the amount of skin. It has been alleged that due to the manipulation of the skin warehouse keepers, rawhide price has become unusually low and many people have dumped it without selling it. According to the storekeepers, the amount of leather collected this time is about 50,000 less than last time.

The port city plays a vital role in the collection of sacrificial animal skins in the country. But in last two years, the collectors left the rawhides of the sacrificial animals on different roads of the city as they could not sell them due to lack of proper price.

In order to prevent that situation from happening this time and not to spoil the collected leather, various government agencies were active in the past. It has been alleged that despite the administration's supervision, the price of rawhides has not gone up due to the manipulation of the warehouse keepers and the amount of hides has not been collected.

There are 112 warehouse keepers engaged in raw leather trade in Chattogram. Leather is stored in 225 yards in Chattogram. Once there were 15-20 tanneries in Chattogram but now there is only one.

Due to the impact of Covid-19 in Phulbari of Dinajpur, the number of sacrificed animals has come down to less than half this year than last year. Less rawhide has been bought this time than last year. This time the seasonal traders were not seen much.

Depending on the type, each cow's skin is bought at Tk 100 to Tk 400 and goat's skin at Tk 5 to Tk 10. However, large cow hides have been sold for a maximum of Tk 500. Due to the low price, many people did not sell their skins, some threw them in the river and some donated to various religious institutions including madrasas.

This year, the Ministry of Commerce has fixed Tk 40 to 45 per square foot of salted cow skin in the capital and Tk 33 to 37 outside Dhaka. The warehouse keepers and tannery owners have agreed to buy goat skins at Tk 15 to 17 and goat skins at Tk 12 to 14.