Huge amount of rawhide rots
Published : Wednesday, 29 August, 2018 at 12:00 AM Count : 719
Rawhide of about 1 lakh cows and 10 lakh goats has rotten in different storehouses in the capital as they couldn't have been sold in time.
Rabiul Alam, Secretary General of Bangladesh Meat Traders Association, told the Daily Observer that skin of around 10 lakh goats and sheep has not been collected this year. That is the reason rawhides have rotten.
Workers, however, said as tannery owners did not pay their previous dues they were not buying and adding salt to rawhides at due time. As a result, about 20 per cent of the skin has been damaged this year.
Besides, rawhide of cows of 1 more lakh was damaged during collection. In total, rawhides of more than 11 lakh cattle have been damaged this year, he added.
According to sources, as every year a huge amount of cowhide is smuggled through borders the government has decided to take action this year too against smuggling during the Eid holidays.
The smugglers of sacrificial animal rawhides are facing an unfavourable situation this time due to strong vigilance by law enforcers at different strategic border points as well as the downtrend in rawhide prices on the international market, they added.
The sources said law enforcement agencies had taken strong measures to check the possible smuggling of rawhides of sacrificial animals through different border points.
Meanwhile, the tanners will start buying rawhide from next Saturday.
Shahin Ahmed, Chairman of the Bangladesh Tanners Association (BTA), told the Daily Observer that the tannery owners would not take the responsibility if seasonal traders do not purchase rawhides at the fixed rates.
The BTA Chairman, however, warned the seasonal traders saying that those who are not mixing salt with the rawhides properly will not get the proper prices.
Noting that the leather industry is passing through a crisis, Shaheen said many tanneries at Savar Tannery Estate have yet to go into full production after the relocation of their tannery units from the capital's Hazaribagh areas.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said the decision to lower prices for rawhides and skins of sacrificial animals ahead of Eid-ul-Azha were not wrong.
"I read it in the media that a crisis was created over rawhides. When I reduced the prices, I also saw reactions among journalists about price cuts," he added.
The Minister identified three factors for the dull business of rawhides this year.
"The rawhides remained unsold not because the prices were cut, but for three reasons. First, the rawhides collected last year still remains unsold. Second, tanners say they could not secure bank loans in time and third, factories are yet to start their operations in Savar."
However, Ahmed said, "The traders say that everything will be on track. The price we reduced was proper."
Delwar Hossain, Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchants Association said, "Our business is in very bad shape this year due to lack of cash inflow. The prices of rawhides decreased at the wholesale market as a good number of tannery owners failed to pay dues to the merchants due to relocation of their tanneries."
He said the best quality of cowhides was traded at Tk 1,500 a piece at the rawhide depots at Posta in the capital and the prices of the same quality of hides were at Tk 2,200 a piece last year.
According to sources, the Commerce Ministry fixed the prices of different types of rawhide this year.
As per the decision tanners would buy per square feet of salted cowhide and buffalo rawhide at Tk 45 to Tk 50 in Dhaka and at Tk 35 Tk 40 outside the capital.
Price of salted skin of castrated goats across the country has been fixed at Tk 18-Tk 20 per square feet while price of salted skin un-castrated goat has been fixed at Tk 13-Tk 15.
Last year per square feet salted cowhide was Tk 50-Tk 55 in Dhaka and Tk 40-Tk 45 outside the capital.
Besides, the price of salted goatskin was fixed at Tk 20 to Tk 22 per square feet in Dhaka and the price of salted goatskin outside Dhaka was Tk 15 to Tk 17.
Though last year buffalo rawhide was fixed by the traders this year its price is fixed by the government and it is same as cowhide.
Sources said 113 tanneries, out of 155 units, have gone into production but only 40 tanneries have so far been able to go into full production.