Saturday, November 12, 2011



V.M. Khaleelur Rahman

There is good demand for all items of hides and skins in Chennai leather market as in all other centres in the country and even abroad. Exporters of leather and leather products such as leather shoes, garments and goods are concentrating very much in procuring raw hides and skins as their availability both at home and abroad are limited. Almost all tanneries and shoe factories in Tamil Nadu particularly in places like Chennai, Ambur, Vaniyambadi, Ranipet and Mel Visharam are functioning well as they are able to get orders from different importing countries like Italy, U.K., Germany, U.S.A. etc. But the fact remains that most of them are not getting the workable prices at the present time when prices of not only raw hides and skins but also chemicals and other items have gone up considerably and even labour charges are on the increase. Many exporters have no option except to have regular business with their customers even at unworkable levels due to the pressure of their banks for regular export documents for negotiation.

It is learnt that some exporters have sold their S/C and F/C 3/5 and 4/6 sq. ft. goat upper and lining leathers at around US $2.00 and 1.50 per sq. ft. C&F. Hong Kong and Singapore customers mostly show interest for these leathers and regular business is taking place. However there is no report of any big business. The shortage of raw hides and skins is the main cause for this. Even big exporters are not interested in selling bulk quantities as they do not know what is in store for them as far as supplies of raw hides and skins are concerned. Many small tanners and exporters have either stopped or curtailed their production due to the present difficult situation.

The offers made by some tanners recently in higher grades of upper leathers were at around US$2.50 per sq. ft. C&F. Some overseas customers buy this item regularly from some top class tanners and exporters. It is also learnt that some shoe factories offered a particular type of their shoes at around Euro 18 to 20.

Recent offers of exporters have been at around the following prices:


Material Size/sq.ft. Substance Selection Price US$ per sq. ft. C&F

Goat upper leather 3/5 0.6/0.8 mm ABC 2.50

Goat suede leather 3/5 and 4/7 0.6/0.8 mm ABC/D/E 2.10/1.80/1.60

Goat lining leather 4/7 0.5/0.7 mm TR-1/2/3 1.60/1.50/1.40


Material Size/sq.ft. Substance Selection Price US$ per sq.ft. C&F

Sheep suede/cabretta leather 4/7 0.6/0.8 mm ABC/D/E 2.50/2.00/1.50

Sheep Suede/cabretta leather 6/9 0.8/1.00 mm ABC/D/E 2.75/2.25/1.75

Sheep lining leather 3/5 and 4/7 0.5/0.7 mm TR-1/2/3 combined 1.60

In all the raw hides and skins centres in the country, prices are ruling high and unchanged. Even in Erode cow hides are in good demand as many exporters need this item and operate there. But it is felt that the present situation will not continue for long.

Exporters of leather and shoes show interest for tanned and wet blue goat skins at different prices depending on the quality and selection. These items continue to be in good demand. High quality ABC suedes are sold at around Rs. 58/60, Linings at around Rs.40/- and Lots (goods consisting of different selections) at around Rs. 50/- Financial crunch seems to be everywhere in the industry. Many exporters are forced to get support from small investors in purchasing wet blue and tanned skins from the market for cash. (Indian Leather, November 2011) -------------------------------------------------

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Eid-ul-Azha: A festival of selflessness and devotion

By V. M. Khaleelur Rahman

The festival Id-ul-Azha, popularly known as Bakrid, is celebrated on the tenth day of Zul Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, in memory of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) (Alaihis salam -AS) who is said to have lived about 4500 years ago. He was an embodiment of selfless sacrifice and deep devotion to Allah. Once dreamt as if commanded by God, he was ready even to sacrifice his only son Hazrat Ismail (Ishmael) who was also all the more willing to give up his life as per Divine order. But it was stopped as it was not what God wanted but he was only tested for his faithfulness and forbearance. In this connection the holy Quran says in its inimitable expression that it is not the "flesh and blood" that reach God but the devotion one has for Him.

The most important aspect, associated with this festival, is the Haj pilgrimage to Makkah. It is one of the five "pillars" of Islam. The others being belief in God, prayer - five times a day, fasting during the month of Ramadan and compulsory payment of 2.5% called "Zakath"on one’s assets to the poor and needy. It was Prophet Ibrahim (AS) who built the "sacred refuge" of Makkah-based Kaba, "the first House of worship, full of blessings and guidance for all mankind " and "Pilgrimage thereto once in one’s life is a duty people who can afford it owe to God"– i.e. if one is physically and financially sound - according to Islamic yardsticks.

The sacred "Zamzam" water which Haj pilgrims fondly drink and bring home for distribution among relatives and friends is from the place where a divine miracle had happened. It is recorded that when Hazrat Hajira (Hagar), wife of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and her infant son Ismail were taken to a rocky and barren valley in Makkah to settle down there, her son grew very thirsty. There was no sign of water anywhere in that vast uncultivable area. She did not know what to do and ran desperately helter-skelter seven times praying to God between two hillocks, Safa and Marwah, in search of water to quench her son’s thirst. Suddenly a spring of fresh water came gushing miraculously under his feet to her utter surprise. The pilgrims perform what is called "Saee" remembering this divine mercy by walking briskly seven times between Safa and Marwah – a distance of about 500 metres,

The Islamic equality and brotherhood of mankind is manifest in the mammoth gathering of more than two million Haj pilgrims, drawn from different parts of the world, irrespective of their colour, creed or country, joining together at a place, men in a white unstitched "uniform" of two pieces of cloth called "Ihram" and women with a head-cover and usual dress, doing "tawaf" (circumambulation) and praying to Almighty God with absolute devotion and wishing for world peace and prosperity. This spectacular annual assembly of Haj pilgrims, full of piety and Divine wisdom, is of great significance.

The holy Quran says: "O People! Behold, we have created you all out of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes only for the sake of identification and knowing one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is pious and God-fearing"( Al-Hujurat 49:13). It also says that "God does not love the proud ones" and Prophet Mohammed (Sal-am)’s warning is that "he who has a grain of pride in his/her heart will not enter heaven."

If the purpose of religion being love is properly understood and followed, we can get a just world order wherein one can live, develop and prosper happily in an atmosphere free from fear, oppression and exploitation and also make the other world hereafter, called "Aakhirah", a paradise. A Haji – one who returns after Haj pilgrimage – is expected to be as innocent as a child without enemies from within such as envy, greed, ill-will etc. and lead a life getting the pleasure of God.