Wednesday, June 19, 2024

80 lakh animals sacrificed

Rawhide supply up 23pc, prices fall 10pc
Supply of rawhide following Eid-ul-Azha this year is expected to be satisfactory, but its price will be lower than it was last year due to slack demand for leather and leather products in the global market, industry officials have said. The manufacturers, however, reckon the price drop will help them to increase the cost competitiveness of their produce.
“We hope this year’s supply of rawhide will be higher than last year’s as about 80 lakh sacrificial animals have been slaughtered, which is around 23 percent more than that of last year,” said Shaheen Ahmed, president of Bangladesh Tanners’ Association (BTA).
Last year, fewer animals were sacrificed owing to an anthrax scare in the country. But there was no such fear this time around, he added.
Belal Hossain, president of Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leather Goods and Footwear Exporters’ Association, echoed the same observation. “Around five percent of the total rawhide has already been collected. We’ll buy the rest from different seasonal and professional merchants in the next two months.”
The price of animal hides would be around 10 percent lower compared to that of last year due to price slump in world market, said Md Saiful Islam, the immediate past president of Leather Goods and Footwear Manufactures and Exporters’ Association of Bangladesh.
The tanners last year set the price of cowhide at between Tk 55 and Tk 60 per square feet in the capital and Tk 45 and Tk 50 outside the capital.
They, however, did not fix the price this year, citing the price slump in global markets.
Rawhide trade during the Eid-ul-Azha will be totalling around Tk 1,500 crore, mentioned Saiful, also managing director of Picard Bangladesh.
More than 42 percent of the total rawhide is collected following the Eid-ul-Azha, around 10 percent each during the Eid-ul-Fitr and Shab-e-Barat, two percent during Kali Puja and the rest round the year, according to sources at the Department of Livestock.
The tanners process over 250 million sq ft of leather every year, mentioned Saiful.
Last year, the sector built up stockpiles of unsold leather and leather goods worth Tk 2,000 crore due to the higher purchase price of rawhides. It ultimately resulted in losing cost competitiveness, he pointed out.
He expects the sector’s global competitiveness to increase by five percent this year.
No rawhide trader would lose money if he bought at 10 percent below the set price of the last year, insisted Aftab Khan, president of Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchants’ Association.
“A section of seasonal traders are claiming that they are losing money due to the price drop of rawhide. But the real traders will not incur losses because they are purchasing after contacting us,” he added.
Earlier, four public commercial banks — Sonali, Janata, Agrani and Rupali — sanctioned Taka 365 crore in loans, 21 percent more than last year, for facilitating the tanners’ rawhide purchase.
Bangladesh exports finished leather and leather goods to a number of countries, including Italy, China, Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong.
The sector fetched $353.25 million from exports in the last fiscal year, according to statistics of the Export Promotion Bureau.

-With The Daily Star input

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