Rawhide prices crash to historic low
Active market syndicate blamed:Small traders suffer massive loss
Gazi Anowar :
Some skin traders dumped about 900 rawhide at a grave-like big hole, protesting throwaway prices from buyers due to involvement of syndicate in manipulating the hide market. This photo was taken from Sunamganj's Jagannathpur upazila of Sylhet on Wednesd
The prices of rawhide witnessed a major crash this year thanks to an active market manipulation by a 'powerful' syndicate, insiders said.
They said that rawhide prices have slid almost to the half of the government fixed rates as hide merchants and tanners formed an unholy nexus to exploit the seasonal traders by fixing unreasonable prices excusing fund crisis and fall in global demands for leather and leather goods.
The government earlier fixed 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 at Tk 18-20 a square foot and that of goatskin at Tk 13-15 a square foot across the country.
But seasonal traders were forced to sale a big size cow/buffalo rawhide at Tk 200-400 on an average while goatskin at Tk 25 to Tk 30 only sending the seasonal traders in great misery.
Last year, a big size cowhide was sold at Tk 600-800 while goatskin at Tk 50-70.
Hide merchants claimed that prices of rawhides this year have hit four and half decades low since 1974, causing a dead blow to the small and seasonal traders.
The seasonal traders, who individually bought hides throughout the country during Eid-ul-Azha, were not getting back even the price they paid to buy the hides.
Monir Ahmed, a seasonal trader at the city's Jurain told The New Nation yesterday that he bought 53 big size cowhides paying Tk 600-700 per piece on average, but he sold them at Tk 500 per piece.
"I had made Tk 7,000 in profit from 43 hides last year, but this year I have to face massive loss due to steep fall in rawhide prices," he added.
On the other hand, local mosques and madrasa authorities have failed to sell rawhides, which they get from donation, because seasonal rawhide traders were not even shown interest to buy small size hides due to crisis of preservation.
Insiders feared that 30 to 40 percent hides would be spoiled this year because of lack of proper preservation.
Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchant Association President Haji Md Delowar Hossein told reporters that they were not been able to buy hides of sacrificial animals from the seasonal traders at prices fixed by the government this year because they did not have enough money to buy hides.