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Shortage of carrier ships hamper raw jute exports
Mar '08
After a long lasting struggle, jute exporters have finally managed to acquire three ships from the Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC) for carrying their goods to the client countries.

For nearly four months now, a total of 7 lakh bales of raw jute worth Tk40 crore had to be retained in the Mongla Port due to shortage of carrier ships.

Banglar Mukh and Banglar Maya are the two allocated ships given for the purpose of dispatching jute goods to various countries. The former is capable of loading nearly 55,000 bales of jute and has already been anchored at Mongla. The latter however, will be made available in April followed by another one in May.

The country produces nearly 55 lakh bales of raw jute every year of which 30-32 lakh bales is being consumed locally while the rest is exported.

Raw jute is supplied mainly to Pakistan, India and China remarkably increasing total exports to reach 25 lakh bales compared to the 17 lakh bales record of the past 2-3 years.

According to the available statistics, nearly 17,18,511 bales of raw jute have been exported during the July-January period of the current fiscal against 13,40,776 bales in the same period last year.

A shortage of carrier ships is bound to delay exports forcing buyers to look for other viable alternatives and this will surely be a major set back to the local jute industry.

Besides, depending on the quality, per 40 kilogram jute is selling between Tk800 and Tk1200. Farmers may not get adequately paid for their products if import demand are not met due to shortage in carrier ships.

The situation is so grave that a delegation of Pakistan Jute Mills Association visited Bangladesh last month and requested the Government to allocate ships for carrying raw jute to Pakistan.

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