The government has allowed five companies to export ten million square feet of wet blue hide for the first time in the country’s history. According to the government order, the approved quantity of wet blue hides would be exported to the European Union, Russia, Ukraine, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Vietnam and Japan by June 30, 2022.

The Office of Chief Controller of Imports and Exports on Saturday received the letter of the approval for the export of wet blue hides from the export wing of the commerce ministry. The five companies, ASK Investment, Kader Leather Complex Ltd, Amin Tannery Ltd, Leather Industries of Bangladesh Ltd (unit-2) and Kalam Brothers, received the approval for exporting 200,000 square feet of rawhides each.

The government on July 29, 2020 temporarily lifted the ban on export of rawhides and wet blue leather in an effort to keep demand and supply of the items stable.

The Office of the Chief Controller of Imports and Exports under the commerce ministry had issued a public notice lifting the export ban on the raw and wet blue leathers imposed by the Export Policy 2018-21.

The government had taken the decision against the backdrop of a drastic fall in prices of the rawhides in 2020. The procurement process of rawhides of sacrificial animals witnessed an unprecedented disorder in the last two years as people who sacrificed animals and collected rawhides dumped a sizeable amount of the items after business syndicates declined to pay the minimum price.

The government and leather sector businesses had set the prices of salted cowhide of sacrificial cows at Tk 28-32 a square foot in 2020.

Commerce ministry additional secretary Md Hafizur Rahman on Saturday told New Age that buyers were not allowing leather goods produced with the locally collected rawhides due to the lack of environmental compliance.

He said that an application from one more company remained under consideration of the commerce ministry and the company might also get approval for exporting 20 lakh square feet of wet blue leather.

‘Considering the real situation, the government has allowed export of rawhides as the country sits on the stockpile of the item,’ Hafizur said.

He said that the government would allow export of rawhides and wet blue on case-to-case basis.