A dearth of funds with seasonal traders and scarcity of salt have pushed the prices of hides of sacrificial animals outside the capital far below the rates the government has fixed.
According to daily sun correspondents, traders purchased big and mid-sized cowhide at Tk 600-Tk 800 and small ones at Tk 200-Tk 300 per piece at the village level during the Eid-ul-Azha.
The government this year fixed the prices of raw cowhide at Tk 50-55 per square foot (sq ft) for the capital and Tk 40-45 for outside Dhaka.
The prices of goatskin were fixed at Tk 20-22 and that of she-goat at Tk 15-17 per sq ft across the country.
As per the government-fixed rate a big-size cowhide was supposed to be sold at Tk 1,500-2,000.
Tanners said they could not provide advance cash to rawhide traders as they failed to get loans from banks as per their requirement.
They, however, said they will purchase animal skins from the next week at rates 10-15 percent higher than the government-fixed prices to prevent rawhide smuggling to India.
Bangladesh Tanners Association (BTA) President Shaheen Ahmed at a press conference on Monday said rawhides risk being smuggled into India as their prices in the close-door neighbour is higher than in Bangladesh.
He urged the law enforcement agencies to take necessary measures to prevent rawhide smuggling.
Talking to the daily sun, BTA General Secretary Shakhawat Ullah said tannery owners usually procure rawhide from across the country within 15-20 days after the Eid, but it will take more time this year due to the relocation of factories to Savar.
“A total of 155 tannery units were supposed to relocate to Savar. But only 70 tanneries have been relocated so far.So it will take time to procure all the rawhides from across the country,” he said.
Despite the low prices at source and assurance of purchase at higher prices by tanners, rawhide traders fear losses because of high rates of salt and non-payment of dues by the tanners.
“Tannery owners failed to pay our dues. Only 20-25 percent factories made full-payment while others gave partial payment. This was the reason why we were in cash crisis to purchase rawhide this season,” said Delwar Hossain, president of Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchant Association.
Tanneries procure more than 50 percent of their annual rawhide requirement during the Eid-ul-Azha.