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Industry seeks ban on raw jute exports
Dec '09
During first-quarter of the current year, when most of the export items witnessed plunge in exports due to the impact of global economic meltdown, jute goods and raw jute exports experienced remarkable increase as the awareness to utilize degradable and eco-friendly products is escalating among the people in various parts of the world.

Bringing in $36 million revenue, raw jute exports swelled up by around 28 percent. But the people associated with jute goods and jute yarn production demanded restriction on export of raw jute to save local jute goods makers, as these exports are resulting into a low supply and high prices of jute in local markets.

Citing the demand for jute fibre from countries such as India, Pakistan and China as a catalyst for export growth of Bangladesh, the raw jute exporters said these exports helped jute farmers to generate good income this year. India and China import raw jute to manufacture variety of products, including sacks, yarn and bags.

This year raw jute prices went up by $100- $150 per ton in international market, and also witnessed rise in domestic market, said Mr. Rezaul Karim, the former Chairman of Bangladesh Jute Association. In domestic market the prices of raw jute per maund hover between Tk 1,400 and Tk 1,600, which were around Tk 1,100 two months ago.

On the other hand, Bangladesh exports jute products to around 30 countries, including Canada, Japan, EU and the United States. During July-September, it earned $85.62 million through the export of these products, which witnessed growth of 5.18 percent.

However, jute goods manufacturers said that it is difficult for them to continue production because of rising prices of raw jute in domestic market as they believe that they will loose their competitiveness, if they buy raw jute at higher prices.

Export of jute goods produced from raw jute bring in more revenue compared to the shipment of just raw jute, so experts say that the government should curb raw jute exports to save the domestic industry as the raw jute scarcity will force local jute mills to down their shutters.

As per an expert, a segment of traders might have stockpiled raw jute to earn quick money, as out of five million bales of raw jute produced this year, 700,000 bales (one bale=180kg) have been exported and local jute mills bought one million bales, so it should have more three million bales of stock of raw jute.

In this respect, the jute goods manufacturers demanded the government to review the total raw jute stock, and suggested to export the products after attaining the demands of domestic market.

However, the Director General of Department of Jute Mr. Mahmudul Haq Bhuiyan said that it is hard to restrict raw jute exports during current economic conditions, and suggested that the jute mill owners should procure raw jute in advance.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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