Rawhide business suffers setback in Barishal, Joypurhat
Drastic price slide has been recorded in selling rawhides in the districts of the country including Barishal and Joypurhat during Eid-ul-Azha, the second largest religious festival of the Muslims.
BARISHAL: Rawhides experienced dismal pricing in the district compelling people to donate skins to different madrasas and orphanages.
The orphanage authorities sold the hides at a nominal rate to different warehouses.
Seasonal traders shelved their leather business after being failed to realise their dues from the tanners. Only four/five traders made some purchases for continuing their old business.
Most of the rawhides were brought to warehouses from different madrasas and orphanages. The skins of oxen were sold at cheaper rates ranging from Tk 500 to 600; in addition, skins of ordinary cows were handed over at Tk 200-235.
Many people threw away skins of goats for not getting due prices. Also processing of the first hand skins faced problem due to increased price of raw salt; a piece of raw skin requires a cost of Tk 700 including salt cost and that of labourers.
On the second day (Sunday) of Eid-ul-Azha a visit to Padmaboti area found no skin trader; only a member of Leather Traders Association Md. Nasir was available.
He said, compared to the last year, the hide market is very worse. "Simply to protect business, I have purchased skins. I don't know whether the prices will be paid."
"I did not get the dues of the last year's skins," he complained.
He further said, in the past in addition to the seasonal traders, some young men would bring rawhides to them; this year, they were not seen; only few seasonal traders supplied skins.
In fear of damaging, some were seen quickly processing rawhides using labourers.
On the other hand, leather traders belied the claim of the seasonal skin traders saying, compared to the last year, higher rates are given this year. They also said that due to capital crunch, the skin prices have declined.
The hide of an animal of Tk 1,25,000 was sold at Tk 350. The skins of oxen purchased at lakhs of Taka were sold at Tk 500-600; skins of animals purchased at Tk 70,000 to one-lakh were sold at Tk 250-350; the skins of animals purchased at Tk 40,000 to 60,000 were sold at Tk 150-250.
And, skins of goats purchased at Tk 10,000 to 20,000 were sold at Tk 10-20. Even, some people threw away goat skins, Nasir said.
Earlier, skins of cows were sold at Tk 500-2,500; goat skins would be sold at Tk 200-500.
Some teachers in a number of madrasas said they collected 20 hides and sold in wholesale market at Tk 7,000-8,000. If most of these skins would not be donated, the purchasing costs would not be lifted, they added.
Trader Nasir said, in the last year, they purchased 10,000 pieces of rawhides; this year, around 1,000 pieces have been purchased so far.
Seasonal traders said, they collected skins from outside of Barishal; they got the prices of cow skins but not that of the goats.
A leather trader at Padmaboti Abdul Jalil said, earlier the warehouse owners in Dhaka would clear dues of the wholesalers every year; alongside, they would give advances for purchasing skins
It is different this year; the tanners did not pay even a penny. As a result, the first hand traders purchased skins with shortage of capitals.
Barishal Leather Purchasing Traders Association General Secretary Shahinur Rahman Shahin said, if the current trend continues many will leave this profession.
JOYURHAT: Seasonal rawhide traders handed over their collected rawhides at the one-fourth rate, compared to the last year's.
In many areas, the traders could not sell rawhides at the cheap rate even; the destitute people who get portions of the values of the rawhides are in frustration as well.
Over the past years, rawhides of goats would be sold at Tk 200-300. This year, per piece has been sold at Tk 25-30. Per piece skin of cow (small) has been sold at Tk 250-300; the big size one has been sold at 400-500. In the last year, per piece of cow skin was sold at Tk 1,000-1,500.
A number of locals including Anisur Rahman of Helkunda Village of Sadar Upazila, Golam Rabbani of Hatiar Village of Kalai Upazila and Hanif Hossain of Dashra Village of Khetlal Upazila said, they never witnessed such slide in rawhide prices over the past ten years.
Seasonal rawhide traders are the worse hit by the slide in the prices. Traders Shahidul Islam of Natunhat area and Motiur Rahman of Jamalganj Bazar said, the sudden price slide has affected the intermediaries as well; for border strictness, they cannot make some profits by sending out skins.
Due to fund crisis and dues pending with the tanners, the rawhides suffered drastic slide this year, local leather traders said.
Leather traders of Joypurhat town Saju Hossain and Shahin Aktar said, they owe lakhs of Taka to tanners; due to hand cash crisis, they cannot purchase rawhides at expected volumes this year; the dull demand in the market has caused the price-cut.
On the other hand, border patrolling has been intensified by BGB for checking smuggling; so, the traders are to continue trading in the local markets.
Joypurhat BGB Battallion-20 Commander Lieutenant Colonel Ferdous Hasan said, there are over 40 kilo border under BGB-20; of which, 22 kilo are fenced; the remaining 18 kilo is open or unfenced.
The smugglers usually use this 18-kilo unfenced border, he further said. So, these areas are kept under strong surveillance, he added.