LAHORE - The industry collected a total of about 12 million hides and skins worth Rs8.5 billion during three days of Eidul Azha against last year’s collection worth approximately Rs6.5 billion, showing a huge growth in slaughtering of sacrificial animals.

Industry experts said that tanneries have observed around 40 percent increase in hides and skins collection. However, they said that falling prices of raw hides and skins in the world as well as local markets have caused a rise of just 20 percent in terms of values of total collection of hides and skins, while the final data is still coming.

Pakistan Tanners Association former chairman Agha Saidain stated that during the ‘Qurbani’ season tanners usually purchase bulk quantity of hides and skins each year, worth approximately Rs10-12 billion, but due to economic recession in international leather market i.e. in China, Turkey and other European countries and depreciation in their currencies the demand and export of leather from Pakistan has reduced, adversely affecting the buying of hides in peak season of Qurbani.

The PTA ex-chairman estimated that economic activity of around Rs160 billion is generated on Eid days, including Rs150 billion through animal sales and Rs8.5 billion through purchases of hides and Rs2 billion through allied industries.

According to the data, about 12 million animals were slaughtered in the country during the three days of Eid, including 3.5 million cows, 8 million goats and almost 80,000 camels.

The average price of the cow hide hovered around Rs1600 against Rs1800 of last year, goat Rs250 per skin versus Rs270 of last year, sheep Rs120 per skin versus Rs130 of last year, and camel Rs1,000 per hide against Rs800 of last year.

He said that tanneries are being supplied very limited gas in Punjab, asking the government to exempt the tanning industry from all kinds of loadshedding at least during the hot and humid climate. “This is necessary for processing hides before getting putrefaction which entirely damages the raw hides. The skins, being a perishable item, cannot be stored without processing which requires uninterrupted supply of electricity and gas,” he added.

He pointed out that hides are basic raw material for leather industry to make leather garments, bags, footwear, ballets and gloves. All these goods are exported that generate substantial amount of foreign exchange. He said that industry desperately needs the uninterrupted supply of energy to enable the leather manufacturers for smooth processing of these perishable hides and skins within the humid climate of the country, otherwise manufacturers would be in great problems in processing of these items.