A syndicate of wholesalers is dominating the rawhide market and they are offering low prices to small traders with an ulterior motive to cash more profit, said seasonal traders.

Abu Hanif, a seasonal rawhide collector of Nanduali area, said the government had fixed cow hide and goat skin prices which benefitted the local tanners.

He said he had purchased hides worth Tk 80,000 (US$1032) during Eid-ul-Azha, but he could not sell the hides. “If I sell rawhide at offered price of wholesalers, I will incur loss of Tk 40,000 (US$516).”

Kauser Khan, another seasonal raw hide trader from Vina, said that the tanners association had fixed raw hide prices this year according to their own whims.

Babu Mia, a seasonal raw hide trader from the Parla area of Magura, said: “Wholesalers are offering us to sell our raw hide on credit. But we had to buy the skins with cash payments, so how can we sell raw hide in this way?”

He said salt was a must for the preservation of raw hide and they were counting extra money to buy salt every day.

Abu Sharif, a hide wholesaler of Islampur area, said hide of Tk2 crore (US$25,400) from last year were still being stored by wholesalers.

“For this reason, we are reluctant to purchase more hides this year.”

He also said demand for Bangladeshi leather and leather- made goods in international market had fallen sharply.

Consequently, rawhide price fixed by tannery owners is lower compared with last year. Some seasonal traders have purchased hides and skins at exorbitant rates and now they were facing loss, he added.

“Nationalised banks have sanctioned loan of Tk600 crore (US$7.7 million) this year. But the facility is only for tannery owners and exporters. We are deprived of this facility. In want of loan we are also failing to purchase raw hides from seasonal traders,” he said.