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10 October, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 14 October, 2019 12:50:26 PM
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JULY-SEPT OF FY 20

Crust leather exports mark significantly fall

SHARIF AHMED, Dhaka
Crust leather exports mark significantly fall

The exports of leather and leather products fell in the current financial year FY 2019–20 in the July–September period compared to the previous fiscal year 2018–19 (July– September).

When asked, Shaheen Ahmed , chairman of the Bangladesh Tanners’ Association (BTA), said import duties on chemicals used for protecting raw hide have increased, affecting the export of crust leather.

According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), the sector registered a negative growth rate of 5.06 per cent, resulting in earnings of USD 254.39 million in the current financial year 2019–20 (July–September). This figure was USD 267.94 million during the same period of the 2018–19 (July– September) FY.

The market insiders said, most of the tanneries that have been shifted to the Savar Tannery Complex from Hazaribagh have not fully functional yet which is one of the prime reasons behind the negative growth.

 Shaheen Ahmed told The Independent that renowned leather producers are moving towards artificial and non-leather products to address the global demand as leather prices went up in the world market since 2013.  

“We are losing foreign and local investment due to continuous negative growth for a long period of time”, he added.     

Secondly, he said, “China used to take raw hide from us to produce raw material by carrying out further processing. The US government has signalled an imposition of 25 per cent tariff on a number of Chinese products (including leather) entering the US market. Eventually, this affected us badly and China halted taking raw hide from us.”

Expressing another reason, Ahmed said, Bangladesh generally exports leather products to countries such as-- to South Korea, China, and the European Union, among others. But they have started using artificial leather products, which are more affordable and lead them to import fewer products from Bangladesh.     

Ahmed also said 155 factories have been shifted to Savar. Of these, 125 factories are running and 25 tanneries have fully started their operations but are processing only crust leather.

He explained that this sector is not getting the advantage of the Central Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) and is struggling hard to achieve global standards in terms of compliance.  

Only leather footwear registered a negative growth rate of 9.28 per cent, resulting in earnings of USD 159.23 million. This figure was USD 175.52 million during the same period in the 2018–19 FY.

Ahmed, also the managing director of Kohinoor Tanneries Ltd, said: “Around 75,000-85,000 people used to work in the tanneries in Hazaribagh before we shifted all the factories to Savar. As a result, many people have lost their jobs. This has hit the exports of leather goods.”

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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