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POST TIME: 3 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
“Tanners are not willing to pay even the govt-fixed prices of salted rawhide”
Seasonal rawhide traders still in hot water
Wholesalers avoid making purchases
ANISUR RAHMAN KHAN

Seasonal rawhide traders still in hot water

Most wholesalers have shown reluctance to buy rawhide because of their funds crunch through the Eid-ul-Azha, one of the biggest festivals of the Muslims, said sources. The festival was celebrated on August 22. Muslims in Bangladesh have sacrificed at least 1.10 crore animals on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha this year, the sources added. However, sources with the Bangladesh Tanners’ Association (BTA) said they started buying sacrificial animals’ rawhides from Saturday, a process that will continue till November.

“We are in a soup as the wholesalers are not buying our rawhides. Though some wholesalers have started buying rawhides, the price is very low compared to our rate of purchase,” Md Shukur Ali, a seasonal rawhide trader in Aminbazar, told this correspondent yesterday (Saturday).

“The seasonal traders will suffer huge losses if the wholesalers don’t increase the prices,” he said in reply to a query.

Some small traders said they have invested in purchases of rawhide from across the country and now they are finding it difficult selling it to tanners.

They alleged that the tanners are not willing to pay even the government-fixed prices of salted rawhide. Many tanners have stopped buying rawhide from them on account of personal problems like funds crisis, they added.

Kabir Hossain, a seasonal rawhide trader, said he bought around 1,000 pieces of rawhide in the hope of making some profits, but wholesalers at Lalbagh’s Posta area are not willing to buy each piece of rawhide for more than Tk. 700–800.

The government has fixed the price of Eid rawhide at Tk. 45-50 per square foot in Dhaka and Tk. 35-40 outside the capital, which is Tk. 5 lower than last year’s price.

However, the tanners said the trade war between China and the US has badly affected the country’s leather industry, which has also impacted this year’s rawhide prices in the international market.

Besides, because of the process of relocation of tanneries to Savar, they are facing compliance and infrastructural difficulties.

“We have started buying salted rawhide from Saturday in accordance with the rate fixed by the government. Our buying programme will continue till November,” BTA general secretary Shakhawat Ullah told The Independent yesterday.

When asked about allegations by small traders regarding low prices, he replied, “That’s nothing new.

The small traders have made this allegation in the past years, too.”

The BTA leader said they have no hand in selling or buying rawhide at the field level.

“Tannery owners are buying rawhides as per their requirements, in accordance with prices fixed by the government. We are buying good quality rawhide for Tk. 800–1,000 per piece,” Shakhawat Ullah said in reply to a query.

The BTA target was to procure 70 lakh pieces of rawhide this year, but it may cross 80 lakh pieces, he added.