Rawhide traders are fearing another gloomy Eid dissatisfied with the prices of rawhide which has continued the falling trend of the last few years.
Like every year, the seasonal traders have collected rawhides and brought them to different temporary rawhide selling points in Dhaka where traders are buying those from them.
In one such temporary market set up on Mirpur road beside City College in the capital, rawhides are being sold at Tk500-Tk800 on Sunday (10 July) noon.
"The price of everything goes up except rawhide," lamented Md Mintu, a seasonal rawhide trader.
Mintu told The Business Standard (TBS) that he sold a hide of four lakh taka cow for only Tk850 which was around Tk2,000 ten years ago.
Although buyers were offering around Tk800 for per piece of rawhide in early hours of the day, the price has dropped to Tk500 as the day progresses.
Abdur Razzak, a teacher at Madrasa-E-Baitul Ma'mur madrasa in Mirpur, said they collected about 400 pieces of rawhide going door-to-door in the city.
The rawhides were loaded into trucks around 5.50pm Sunday (10 July).
Buyers say they are offering less as the quality of the rawhides has been damaged due to heat.
Seasonal trader Md Mizan from Siddiqia Madrasa at Mirpur's Kazipara has brought 27 rawhides which he was able to sell at an average of Tk800.
"The earning of Madrasas from donated rawhides during Eid-ul-Azha has declined drastically in recent years compared to earlier times, as a result of which these institutions are faced with heavy financial loss," he told TBS.
Meanwhile, merchant Abdul Rouf, an employee of SK Leathers, said that he has bought 42 rawhides at around Tk700-800.
According to him, 30% of the rawhides collected from wholesalers and seasonal traders go to waste as most of these are handled by unprofessional people who deal with post-sacrifice cattle management.
Most traders at the temporary market set up near City College expressed their dissatisfaction over the price of rawhides.
This year, the price of salted cow rawhide is fixed at Tk47-52 per sq ft in Dhaka and Tk40-44 outside Dhaka. Besides, the price of goat hide has been set at Tk18-20 per sq ft while it is Tk12-14 per sq ft for female goat hide across the country.
Last year, the price of salted cow rawhide was fixed at Tk40-45 per square foot in Dhaka and Tk33-37 per square foot outside of the capital. The price of goat hide was set at Tk15-17 per square foot.
Besides, the price of salt, the key raw material of the industry, has also gone up recently. All these have contributed to the falling offer price for rawhides.
Reportedly, the price of salt costing doubled the normal price in the past three months.
Bangladesh Tanners Association (BTA) General Secretary Md Sakhawat Ullah told TBS that the rawhide collection target this year has been set at one crore which was around 82 lakh last year.
"For small-sized cows, tanneries are paying around Tk600 while for big cows the price ranges between Tk800 and Tk850 this year in Dhaka," he said.
He also advised seasonal traders to sell the collected rawhides by this afternoon citing that the price will start to drop after sunset.
"In order to ensure a fair price for the rawhides, traders should complete the task before dusk," he said.