The price of rawhides in Bangladesh dropped more than 30% during Eid-ul-Azha (31 August−4 September), the annual Muslim festival that sees the mass slaughter of hundreds of thousands of cows, buffalo, sheep and goats.
Mohammad Ali, a worker at Posta – the country’s largest rawhide trader – told the Daily Star: “We could sell a large rawhide to tanners for Tk 3,500 [£32.50] last year but this year they will pay Tk 2,200 [£20.43] a piece. Many traders have lost interest in rawhide trade due to the declining trend of rawhide prices.”
Posta reported it bought 20% fewer skins due to financial constraints and floods, which saw the streets of Dhaka run red with bloody water. About 5% of the rawhides had also gone bad after not being cured with chemicals and salt quickly enough. Part of the reason for this was the increase in the price of salt, at times close to being double. Another factor was that only 20% of the tanneries that had relocated to the new Savar Leather Estate on the outskirts of the capital had managed to get up and running (the industries ministry claimed it was more, at 67 out of 155). There were reports that they lacked gas and factory structures were incomplete.
Foreign buyers of rawhides have also been blamed for pushing down prices, and seasonal traders have had to cut back on stocks to avoid losses. Loban Ali Mondol, a resident of Natore, the country's second largest rawhide trading market, was reported as saying: “The price declined so low this year that I had to sell a piece of goat rawhide for Tk 20 [19p] when the government rate is Tk 80 [74p].”