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Salt price hike worries hide traders ahead of Eid

Published : Thursday, 8 September, 2016 at 12:00 AM  Count : 308

Hide traders at Posta in Old Dhaka fear rotting of large quantities of raw hides after the price of salt, an essential ingredient for preservation of hides, has soared.
With a few days left to Eid-ul-Azha, during which a large portion of raw hides are collected, traders are yet to buy salt.
According to the traders, price of salt currently varies from Tk 1500 to Tk 1550 per sack of 74 kilograms, whereas last year the price stood at just Tk 650 during the festival.
They say, to 'balance the cost,' they will buy hides at a cheaper rate this time.
Even then, they might fear losses if stacks of hides rot away due to shortage of salt.
"There is a possibility that raw hides might rot away as seasonal traders are likely to use salt in a limited manner," Bangladesh Hide and Skin Merchants Association President Hajji Delwar Hossain said.
In the wake of the price hike, Commerce Secretary Hedayetullah Al Mamun made an announcement on Tuesday that a letter of credit (LC) was opened on Tuesday to import 150,000 tonne of salt and one more will be opened in a day or two.
The secretary believes that the import before Eid might bring the price down.
Aftab Uddin Molla, an Arhotdar or wholesaler at Posta, says he usually buys salt at least 15 days ahead of Eid.
But this year, he is still waiting for the salt prices to drop.
According to the merchants, 10 kilogram of salt is used for preserving one cow hide and Tk 87 is spent per hide.
Now the cost has increased to Tk 175 at the current rate salt is available.
Rajkumar Das, a wholesale trader of hides in Munshiganj, told on Monday: "I wonder how many traders will buy hides this time as price of salt is really high."    �

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