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Local industry worried

Jute export sharply declines

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Kazi Zahidul Hasan :
Exports of jute and jute goods have fallen sharply in the first nine months of the current fiscal year posing a big threat to local jute industry.
Data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) showed exports of jute and jute goods fell by 23.23 per cent during the July-March period of the current fiscal year compared with the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year.
Bangladesh earned US$628 million from export of jute and jute goods during the July-March period of the current fiscal year (2018-19), while exports of jute and jute goods valued at US$ 818 million during the same period of the last fiscal year, according to EPB data.
"Lackluster global demand led the export fall posing a big threat to local jute industry," Tofazzal Hossain, Vice-Chairman of the Bangladesh Jute Goods Exporters' Association (BJGEA), told The New Nation yesterday.
He said that India imposed anti-dumping duty on a number of Bangladeshi jute products, which also responsible for the drop in jute and jute goods exports.
"The collapse in jute and jute goods export is very worrying. This points to a board weakness in external demand," said Shahidul Karim, Secretary of Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association (BJSA).
He said yarn is used for making carpets, which is a luxury item. But exports of jute yarn marked a sharp fall due to economic downturn the developed countries.
"The Middle East countries and the African nations are also big market for Bangladeshi jute goods.  Our exports also declined in these markets due to war in Libya and Syria and import high duty imposed by African countries," he added.
Shahidul Karim further said that exports of jute and jute goods would not get momentum unless external demand is improved.
During the July-March period of the current fiscal year (2018-19), shipments of raw jute dropped by 21.67 per cent to US$95 million from US$122 million in the same period of the last fiscal year
Shipments of jute sacks and bags also declined by 34 per cent while jute yarn and twine by 25 per cent during the period, showed the EPB figure. Exports of jute sacks and bags totalled at US$ 67.68 million while jute yarn and twine totalled US$383.69 million during the July-March period of the current fiscal.
Bangladesh earned US$514.29 million from exports of jute yarn and twine, US$103.55 million from jute sacks and bags and US$122.08 from exports of raw jute during the July-March period of the fiscal year 2017-18.
Earnings from jute and jute goods have risen significantly in the fiscal year 2017-18 on the back of rising global demand, availability of quality raw materials and better crop management. The jute sector fetched export earnings of US$1.02 billion in the fiscal year 2017-18.
The government already enforced the "Mandatory Jute Packaging Act, 2010", to promote the country's jute sector.

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