Tanners start rawhide purchase, wholesalers not to sell until dues cleared

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:23, Aug 18,2019 | Updated: 00:28, Aug 18,2019


Country’s tanners on Saturday started procuring rawhides of sacrificial animals in several districts while the hide and skin merchants in Dhaka announced that they would not sell rawhides to the tannery owners until they cleared the dues of the wholesalers.

Commerce ministry has arranged for a meeting with the leaders of the trade bodies of the leather sector to be held today to resolve the on-going crisis over the procurement of rawhide which forced many to dump the item faced with low prices. 

Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchants Association president Md Delwar Hossain on Saturday told reporters that tannery owners were responsible for the price disorder of rawhide as they did not pay for last year’s hides worth Tk 400 crore, which they owed to the wholesalers.

‘This year, wholesale traders failed to pay reasonable prices of hides and skins to the small and seasonal traders due to non-payment of dues by the tanners, though the tannery owners are repeatedly trying to blame us for the current low prices of rawhides,’ he said.

Delwar added that their association members decided in a meeting not to sell rawhides to the tanners until the dues were cleared.

Tannery owners, however, disagree with this line of argument.

‘We have heard that Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchants Association have taken a decision not to sell rawhides to tannery owners. It is their own matter whether they do or do not sell rawhides to tanners — we have nothing to do with it,’ Bangladesh Tanners Association secretary Md Shakawat Ullah told New Age.

He said that they started procurement of rawhides from wholesalers in different parts of the country from Saturday.

‘We have started our procurement of salted rawhide at the government-set prices and the tanneries would collect hides for the next two months,’ Shakawat said.   

Responding to a question he said that the price and procurement situation would be discussed in the meeting at the commerce ministry on Sunday and hopefully differences between tanners and wholesalers would be narrowed down.

The procurement of rawhides of the sacrificial animals witnessed an unprecedented price disorder this year and people who sacrificed animals and collected rawhides dumped a sizeable number of the items faced with the crisis as business syndicate denied paying them the minimum price.

Against the backdrop of drastic fall in prices of the hides the government announced to allow export of rawhide to maintain minimum prices.

The announcement of export by the government could not ensure stabilisation of prices of rawhides across the country and the commerce ministry had to request Bangladesh Tanners Association to procure the item at the prices set by the ministry.

The government had set the prices of cowhide at Tk 45-50 a square foot in Dhaka and Tk 35-40 a square foot for outside Dhaka while the prices of castrated-goat skin had been set at Tk 18-20 a square foot and that of goatskin at Tk 13-15 a square foot across the country.     

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