The government yesterday fixed the prices of rawhides of animals sacrificed during Eid-ul-Azha, reducing it by Tk 5 per square foot from the rate last year largely because of the downward trend of leather and leather goods in international markets.
The prices of salt-mixed rawhides of cows and buffalos have been fixed at Tk 45 to Tk 50 per square foot in Dhaka and Tk 35 to Tk 40 for outside of the capital, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed told reporters after a meeting with tanners and traders at his secretariat office.
The Bangladesh Tariff Commission, however, recommended the government set the price between Tk 55 and Tk 60 per square foot.
The prices of salt-mixed castrated goats across the country have been fixed at Tk 18-20 per square foot while that of she-goats has been fixed at Tk 13 and Tk 15 per square foot, the minister said.
The prices of rawhides were cut mainly for the downward trend of leather and leather goods in international markets and for the newly established Savar Tannery Estate remaining mostly non-operational.
Neither the minister nor the tanners who were present at the press conference could say how much the price of rawhides fell in international markets. “We have set a realistic price level of rawhide so that traders at every level can make a minimum profit,” Ahmed said.
The minister added that 45 percent of rawhides bought at Eid-ul-Azha last year have remained unused as manufacturers did not buy the skins from tanners as expected.
This year, 1.16 crore animals could be sacrificed. Of them, 44.57 lakh would be cows and buffalos, according to the Department of Livestock. Some 71 lakh goats and sheep as well as 31,000 other animals such as camels and fat-tailed sheep could be slaughtered.
Last year, 1.4 crore animals were slaughtered, of which 45.29 lakh were cows and buffalos and 58.91 lakh were goats and sheep.
Speaking at the same media briefing, Md Shaheen Ahamed, chairman of Bangladesh Tanners Association, said, “If we can't compete in the international market, there is no use of buying huge quantity of rawhides,” he said.
He said the quality of rawhides purchased last year deteriorated because of a shortage of salt.