Seasonal rawhide traders say there was no major anomaly over rawhides this Eid, but prices fixed by the government benefitted only merchants and not them.
They also said the government increased prices but that did not meet their expectations.
Due to the increase, rawhide prices this year were a bit higher compared to last year, they added.
But merchants said rawhides had been bought at higher prices than last year and the market was better than the last two years.
Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchants Association President Aftab Uddin said as the government had increased prices, seasonal traders and orphanages got good prices this time.
He also said the rawhide market was better than the last two years. "Cowhides were bought for Tk500-1,100 depending on the size."
Cowhideswere sold at Tk400-600 on average in the capital.
The hide of a large cow was sold at Tk700-800, and small and medium ones at Tk300-400.
Seasonal traders and orphanages did not get reasonable prices of goat hides, which were sold at Tk20-30.
On Eid day, goat hides were sold for Tk50 in the afternoon, but prices then kept going down.
Locals said some people abandoned goat hides as they did not get reasonable prices.
This year in Dhaka, the prices of salted hides of cows and buffaloes were fixed at Tk40-45 per square foot (sqft), which was Tk35-40 last year.
Outside Dhaka, the prices of salted hides were set at Tk33-37 per sqft, which was Tk28-32 last year.
Across the country, the prices of salted goat hides were fixed at Tk15-17 per sqft.
Rawhides bought at lower than official prices
The government increased rawhide prices due to rising prices and demand in the global market.
Cowhide prices were increased by Tk5 per sqft.
Although merchants paid Tk100-200 more for a rawhide than last year, it was still less than the prices fixed by the government.
They said eight to 10 kilos of salt is needed to preserve a hide and it would cost an additional Tk200 to preserve a hide.
Traders said the price of the hide (30 sqft) of a large cow should be Tk1,200-1,350, that (25 sqft) of a medium cow Tk1,000-1,125, and that (20 sqft) of a small cow Tk800-900.
But Dhaka merchants bought hides at Tk400-600 on average from seasonal traders.
Seasonal trader Selim Mollah buys rawhides every year and sells those to merchants. At 11am on Thursday, he took more than 50 hides to Posta in the capital. He asked for Tk800 for each hide but had to sell those at Tk600 finally.
He said he expected better prices this year but did not get that, adding merchants paid less.
But Aftab said prices paid by merchants would not differ much from those set by the government.
"In the case of large cows in Dhaka, we get an average of 22 sqft of a good hide. OutsideDhaka, it is 18 sqft. Buying prices are by no means low."
Posta merchants get fewer rawhides
Posta in Lalbagh is the main rawhide warehouse in the capital.
Traders there said they had got fewer rawhides this year as fewer animals were slaughtered compared to last year due to Covid-19.
Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchants Association said about five lakh hides are procured in Dhaka.
On Eid day and the next day, Posta merchants procure about two lakh hides. In winter, this figure is about three lakh.
Until Friday, Posta traders received 1.5-1.7 lakh rawhides.
Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchants Association Secretary General Tipu Sultan said rawhide collection in Dhaka was 20-25% less than the target this year.
Meanwhile, the Directorate of National Consumers Right Protection have carried out drives in Posta to prevent salt price hikes.
A mobile court led by its Deputy Secretary Mojur Mohammad Shahrier sealed off some salt stores for suddenly increasing prices.
Rawhide procurement falls short of target in Chattogram
The rawhide procurement target was four lakh in Chattogram but 3.5 lakh hides were procured.
Due to anomalies in rawhide procurement in past years, seasonal traders did not show much interest in the trade this time.Merchants' representatives mainly did the job.
Dr Setu Bhushan Das, acting livestock officer of the district, told The Business Standard 5% fewer animals were slaughtered in the port city compared to last year, causing the amount of rawhides to decline.
He also said merchants formed a syndicate and this decreased prices.
Sylhet merchants face capital shortfall
Sylhet merchants were disinterested in rawhide procurement this year due to falling prices and capital shortage.
They could not procure even half of the rawhides this year.
The local livestock office said around two lakh animals were slaughtered this year in Sylhet district.
Traders said they could only procure around 70,000 rawhides from the district and seasonal traders procured the rest.
They also said some rawhides might have been damaged and even smuggled.
But Sylhet police superintendent Md Farid Uddin said no hide was smuggled this year as there was strict surveillance in border areas.
Shamim Ahmed, president of Sylhet Shahjalal Hide Traders Association, said tannery owners owe hide traders about Tk50 crore.
That is why traders did not have enough money to invest and could not procure more than half of the hides, he added.
10,000 hides abandoned in Bogura
Traders in Bogura threw away at least 10,000 hides as they did not get reasonable prices.
Most of those were goatand sheep hides but there were some cowhides too.
Traders said the hides were discarded as hide prices were less than the processing costs.
But the leader of the local hide traders association said only low-quality and damaged hides were discarded.
Abdul Matin, general secretary of the Bogura District Hide Traders Association, said the hides thrown away were discarded ones.
He said low-quality hides were discarded because of high salting costs and low demand at tanneries. He also said 30-40 goatand sheep hides were dumped in some places of the city.
Trucks were used to dump animal ears, scalps, and waste, he added.