Tanners, leather exporters against rawhide export
Tanners and leather exporters opposed the commerce ministry's plan to allow rawhide exports, on the grounds that it might cause a scarcity for the local industry.
“We have set up expensive machineries for processing rawhide and manufacturing leather goods. Now if the government allows exports of raw hide, our investment will be compromised,” said Shamsul Huda, president of Bangladesh Tanners Association.
The tanners and leather goods manufacturers threatened to take to the streets to protest the ministry's decision, he added.
Like Huda, Aftab Khan, president of the Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchants' Association, said the local leather and leather goods manufacturing industries would be affected by the government decision.
“Our local industries had incurred losses for global economic meltdown in 2008, when the sales declined greatly. Now we will face another crisis if the decision comes into effect,” Khan said.
Earlier on October 31, Commerce Minister GM Quader said the government was considering the option of rawhide exports to perk up the ailing sector.
“The rawhide business is in trouble. We are worried about the low prices in the local market,” Quader said, while suggesting the prices might have been influenced by a section of the traders.
This Eid rawhide prices were 20 percent lower, with cowhide and goatskin selling at Tk 60-75 and Tk 35-40 per square feet respectively in Dhaka and at much lower prices outside the capital.
Huda, however, agreed that the seasonal traders have received lower prices for rawhide.
“But the big merchants are receiving proper prices.”
The ministry will hold talks with different stakeholders separately before taking the final decision on rawhide export, Quader told The Daily Star by phone.
With regards to the historically low prices of rawhide, he said: “We will investigate whether the prices are being manipulated by any section.”