Rawhide is being traded at lower prices than the government’s fixed rate.
The government earlier fixed prices of salt-applied rawhide of cows at Tk 40-45 per square foot in Dhaka and Tk 33-37 outside Dhaka to ensure fair prices and avoid the recurrence of last year’s situation when many threw away rawhide failing to recover even their cost.
Traders and other people, who took part in Eid-ul-Azha, said prices were very low this year too.
Many people gave away the rawhide while many did not bother to take care of the raw material for leather and leather goods, which brings in nearly a billion-dollar from export.
Ala Uddin, a seasonal leather trader, said that he bought rawhide at a high price after seeing in the newspapers that the price of leather was good this year.
But, he had to sell goat hide at Tk 10 to Tk 15 per piece after purchasing them at Tk 30 to Tk 40.
Aminul Islam, a seasonal trader in Naldanga upazila of Natore, one of the biggest markets for rawhide, said he bought goatskin at Tk 20 per piece and cowhide at Tk 200 to Tk 300 per piece and had to sell the goatskin at half the prices that he bought.
Aminul, however, got higher prices for cowhide at Tk 400 to Tk 500 per piece. But these are supposed to be sold at a price of at least Tk 1,200 to Tk 2,000 at the government fixed price, he said.
Shariful Islam Sharif, president of the Natore Leather Traders’ Association, said they were buying leather at a price set by the government.
But the tannery owners are not able to buy leather properly as they have not paid the arrears.
In Dhaka, prices of rawhide have also been low.
Sabbir Ahmed, a sessional hide trader in the city’s Uttara area, said he bought rawhide at Tk 200 to Tk 300 depending on size and quality.
Robiul Alam, secretary general of Dhaka District Hide Merchants Association, said prices of hides are higher this year than the previous year.
But this year, goatskins were damaged in many places, he added.
Md Aftab Uddin, president of Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchants Association, said they bought rawhide at government fixed rates until Wednesday evening in Lalbagh area of Dhaka.
But many traders brought the rawhide late. As a result, the quality of skin deteriorated and some had to take back the skins after failing to sell them, he said.
Aftab also said hides were damaged in Chattogram and Sylhet this year.
Over the last two seasons, many people have either thrown away or buried rawhide in many areas of the country because of low prices or nominal prices from the seasonal traders.