Seasonal rawhide collectors had another gloomy Eid as they were dissatisfied with the prices which has continued the falling trend of the last few years.
They claimed that they did not get expected prices because of a syndicate of tannery owners and big rawhide traders and were forced to sell the hides at lower prices.
However, Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchants Association refuted the claims by saying that they have bought hide at a fixed price.
The Business Standard visited the Posta area of Old Dhaka from 9pm on Monday afternoon and spoke with at least 10 seasonal traders in a bid to get a better grasp of the ongoing situation.
Warehouse owners in Old Dhaka's Lalbagh comparatively had a lazy afternoon on the second day of Eid as the number of customers were less.
Although sales picked up from night, the prices did not match expectations of the seasonal traders as small cow hides were sold for Tk200 while larger ones went for Tk600-700.
This was the case till Monday night as reported by our correspondent.
Amir Hamza, a seasonal rawhide collector, brought five cow skins from the Jurain area to Posta on Monday evening. Although he was able to sell the larger hides for Tk800, big traders paid a mere Tk200 for the smaller ones.
Mohammad Jahangir, who also came to Posta to sell his collected cowhides, said, "I came with tota 20 cowhides. The larger hides, 16 of them, went for Tk600 each. I was paid Tk200 for the smaller ones.
"I have suffered a huge loss this year," he added.
Seasonal trader Mohammad Imran said, "I collected 150 pieces of hide. I bought them for Tk750-800 a piece but had to sell them for Tk600 only. We could not even recover our labour and transportation costs.
"My question is why the hides bought by tanneries for Tk1,300-1,500 before Eid are now being collected at a reduced rate of Tk800?"
When contacted on Tuesday morning, Aftab Khan, president of the Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchants' Association, said, "Some one lakh unsalted rawhide were collected by the Posta tanneries and traders on Monday. Some 50,000 were collected from Hazaribagh, Jinjira and Jajira. Tannery owners are expected to start collecting salted hides from Posta from tomorrow (13 July)."
Asked about the low rawhide prices, Aftab Khan said, "The government did not fix the prices of unsalted rawhides. We are buying [unsalted] hides using our experience and mere guess work. Prices this year are ranging from Tk400-1,200."
Bangladesh Tanners Association (BTA) General Secretary Md Sakhawat Ullah said that the rawhide collection target this year has been set at one crore which was around 82 lakh in 2021.
"For small-sized cows, tanneries are paying around Tk600 while for big cows the price ranges between Tk800 and Tk850 this year in Dhaka," he said.
Goat skin 'unwanted' in Posta
Abdur Rahman came to the rawhide buy and sale hotspot with a total of 300 pieces of goat hide but failed to trade a single one which resulted in heavy financial loss for him.
Echoing the same, Aftab Khan, another seasonal trader, said, "Not so long ago I used to sell at least 50 goat hides on average during Eid-ul-Azha. But this year I only sold two."
This year, the price of salted cow rawhide is fixed at Tk47-52 per sq ft in Dhaka and Tk40-44 outside Dhaka. Besides, the price of goat hide has been set at Tk18-20 per sq ft while it is Tk12-14 per sq ft for female goat hide across the country.