Seasonal small rawhide traders in Tangail are going through a rough patch as thousands of pieces of rawhides have remained unsold because of poor responses from the agents of tanners and merchants even though more than a week has passed since Eid.
As a result, the seasonal small traders who purchased the rawhides from the grassroots will have to incur huge losses this year, traders said.
This year local traders have brought more than four lakh pieces of rawhides to Pakutia in Ghatail upazila.
Pakutia is the biggest rawhide market in the district and sits two days a week, on Sunday and Wednesday.
Last year, more than eight lakh rawhides were brought to the market and buyers were there from nearby districts such as Bogura, Sirajganj, Dhaka, and Mymensingh, according to Baharul Islam Khokon, leaseholder of the market.
This year is different as only a small number of tannery owners, agents from tanneries and wholesalers from the area and different parts of the country came to the market in the last one week, several traders said.
What is more, they are offering prices between Tk 100 and Tk 200 per piece, much lower than the purchasing price, they said, adding that they spent money to process the rawhide and for transportation and labour cost.
Jagai Das, a seasonal rawhide trader from Melandah in Jamalpur district, said he bought rawhides at Tk 400 to Tk 500 and later spent more than Tk 300 per hide to process it. But the buyers were offering prices not more than Tk 500 to Tk 600.
Abdul Latif, a seasonal rawhide trader in the area, bought 500 pieces of rawhides for Tk 2 lakh after borrowing money at high interest rate, but the rawhides remained unsold due to a lack of buyers.
“I will go broke if I can’t sell them,” he said.
Yousuf Hossain, owner of a leather factory in Keraniganj in Dhaka and a buyer, said he could not offer more as, after buying the rawhides he would have to spend more than Tk 200 per piece to process them and in transportation, labour and other costs. Khokon said although the small and seasonal traders have already taken the rawhides to the market, there are an insignificant number of buyers.
He said traders are expecting more buyers and supply of rawhides on Sunday’s weekly market.
The supply of the rawhides may be less than 50 percent this year compared to what it was last year, he said.
Sajedul Islam, a small rawhide trader from Silimpur market in Delduar upazila, says wholesalers are not showing interest to buy the hides, saying that tanners did not clear the dues and could not sell the rawhides they had purchased last year.
“We are unable to clear the dues of the seasonal traders as the tannery owners in Dhaka did not pay even 10 percent of last year’s arrears,” Badsha Miah, a wholesaler, said.
Some 400 to 500 people were engaged in the seasonal rawhide business in the district in the past but the number has fallen to about 200 this year, he added.