Failing to add up

18 September 2001

I am a regular reader of Leather International and like it due to its contents. As I go through the article of raw materials on page 49 of the July issue, 2001, I became confused because I couldn't understand/compare bovine figures in Table 1 with figures in Table 2. In Table 1, bovine livestock figures are much less than the production figures for bovine in Table 2. Please explain to me how you have prepared these tables. Is it a typing mistake? Rashid Haleem and Salman Ashraf Siddiq Leather Works Lahore * Since our tables were faithful reproductions of the originals provided by FAO we asked Paul Pearson, BLC and ICT, for advice, pointing out that it was unusual to say the least to quote livestock figures in terms of weight.This is his response: Re the statistics, I think the numbers are correct, but there is a misprint in the descriptions. I believe Table 1 of the article in July Leather International should be headed Livestock numbers (million heads). If you look at Tables 1, 2 and 3, pages 1-15 of the FAO Compendium (ie after the Salient features numbered in Roman numerals) these figures tie up with your Table 1 - almost (there is a very minor difference of a few thousand in each total, which I cannot explain, but it is effectively insignificant). Your July Table 2 matches exactly the figures quoted in FAO Compendium Tables 5, 7 and 9 Production of Hides and Skins (000 tonnes) (Pages 24-28, 34-38, and 44-48). To be completely accurate, bovine hides should described as Wet salted weight and sheepskins and goatskins as Dry weight. Therefore your two tables compare animal populations (Table 1) with numbers of hides and skins produced (Table 2). The relationship between the two depends on kill rates/average life cycle and average weight per hide and skin (including calves/lambs in the calculation). I believe that these make sense. I hope this answers the question. Paul Pearson

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