CHITRAL: The easy availability of Chinese leather goods in the local market has led to steep fall in the prices of animal hides in Chitral over the last couple of years.
Haji Qayum, a trader, told this correspondent that the prices of hides were likely to fall further in the national market by 15 to 25 per cent in the coming six months.
He said that price of buffalo hide had plunged to Rs1,200 from Rs4,000 and that of cow to Rs40 from Rs130 per kg during the last two years. He said that hides of sheep and goat had also seen sharp decrease in their prices.
He said that the extensive use of Chinese commodity in the leather industry had caused the sharp fall in the hide prices.
Mr Qayum said that last year his loss in the business exceeded Rs2 million as he had bought animal hides in bulk on the occasion of Eidul Azha.
He said that keeping in view the falling prices of the commodity in the market many traders had switched to other fields of business this year. He, however, said that he was determined to carry on with the same business.
Another trader Ajmal Shah said that the prices of the raw material in the form of animal hide would continue to fall as there was no leather industry in Chitral.
He said that he didnâ€™t see any increase in hide prices in the near future.
He said that by making arrangement for tanning of animal hides in Chitral these could be developed into leather, which would pave the way for development of leather industry in the area.
He added that many people associated with the business of animal hides had been rendered jobless due to the eroding prices. — by ZahiruddinÂ source