Monday, September 28, 2015
From Print Edition
The prices of sacrificial animals’ hides have sharply declined this year by over 40 percent which reduced the total business transactions by almost Rs5 billion despite the more slaughtering was observed by devotees on year to year basis.
According to a conservative estimate, almost 7.5 million sacrificial animals were slaughtered in Pakistan on three days of Eidul Azha increased by one million from the last year 6.5 million animals. However, due to global leather market recession sharp decline in the rates of raw hides recorded this year causing a huge setback to the welfare organisations, charity and trust hospitals, and other collectors who get major chunk of their annual resources from it.
Lahore hides and skin market on Eid evening started business with bullish trend as rate of cow/calf hide was around Rs2,200 when buying started. However, after four hours of activities the rates were sharply declined by over 20 percent and came down to Rs1,700 to 1,800 per hide, which further reduced to Rs1,500 by the midnight. It seems that the buyers were under some cartel which compelled the collectors to sell their collected hide and skins at buyers’ asking rates as delay in sale could further damage hides and reduce the price by the buyers.
Average price remained Rs1,800 per hide of cow/calf as compared to last year Rs4,300 per hide, registering a decline of more than 55 percent. In early hours of trading on day first, the buyers of raw hides of cow/calf were refusing the seller with excuse that the tannery did not give them go ahead to buy it. Similarly, majority of them were not buying sheep skin which also depressed its market as well.
Average price of goat skin remained Rs250 to 270 per skin from the last year price of Rs500 per skin, thus almost 50 percent reduction was witnessed in its rates too while sheep hide was sold on average at Rs130 per skin from the last year Rs350 to 400 per skin reduced by over 70 percent.
Pakistan Tanners Association had already influenced the hides and skin market well before Eidul Azha by announcing the rates. In past, no such announcement was made by the tanners rather kept the market playing with demand and supply sentiment rule.
Chairman PTA Muhammad Musaddiq released the rates for cattle (cow/calf) hides at Rs1,500 to 1,800, goat at Rs175 to 225 per skin, sheep at Rs125 to 175 per skin and camel at Rs800 to 1,000 per hide. Thus the PTA managed to influence the market while the raw hide and skin buyers in the market claimed that the tanners had given them a certain limit so that they could not exceed that price limit as the tanners are the final buyers of these raw hides and skin. Historically, majority of small and medium hide dealers do buying on behalf of some big tanneries in Pakistan while these tanneries also provide them cash flow to ensure some quality and quantity for them. Hides collected on Eidul Azha meet the almost half requirement of the total raw material of Pakistan leather industry, second largest exporting industry of Pakistan.
Sheikh Arshad – a leading raw hide dealer in Lahore, former president of Hides and Skins Merchants Association at Lahore leather market told The News that industry witnessed worst business year on this Eidul Azha due to global recession which world over reduced the demand of leather products. “The impact did not come on raw hides and skin only. Rather, casing industry had adversely affected on this Eid and the price of sheep/goat casing was cut down by over 85 percent coming down to Rs20 per case from the last year Rs150 per case, he said, adding that it was even below that the collection cost of per casing. Similar situation was recorded in other by-products, including animal fats and bone industry. Anyone case sees these by-products on garbage heaps across the country, which is alarming, he commented.
The government has restricted the hides and skin collection under the National Action Plan (NAP) and No Objection Certificates (NOCs) were issued by the district management across the country. Those have NOCs can collect the hides and skins in the limited permitted points given to them, so some religious factions and groups camps were not seen on the roads to collect the sacrificial animals hides and skin this year.
In some districts, Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation (FIF) and Jamaat-ud-Dawa were not given NOCs by the respective district managements which restricted them to indoors in hides collection. They have strong following and despite the NOCs were not issued them in some districts they were able to fetch their share from sacrificial animal hides and skins. Thus figures of their collection were not available as they sold their collected hides and skin through auction.
Talking about leader of hide collection this year, nominated President, Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Sheikh Arshad said that correct numbers would come after one week to 10 days. However, according to current trend in Lahore, Shoukat Khanam Cancer Hospital was likely to be at the top of the list followed by Jamaat-e-Islami and Dawat-e-Islami.
In Karachi, Sheikh Arshad said that likewise past, MQM was the major player but it was not able to manage the maximum share after the on-going Karachi operation by the law enforcement agencies. Similar situation was witnessed by Sunni Tehreek, which is also under wrath of law enforcement agencies. This has benefited the Dawat-e-Islami, Edhi Foundation, Jamaat-e-Islami and other seminaries, which increased their share substantially on this Eid, he added.
Sheikh Arshad said this year, the collectors and buyers of MQM and Sunni Tehreek were reluctant due to operation as they were being monitored by the law enforcement agencies so they kept themselves low in this activity.