The jute millers and exporters have called upon the government to fix an upper ceiling of raw-jute price for the local market to help ensure fair price of the golden fibre.
They also sought the continuation of drives against stockers so that they cannot control raw-jute market unethically.
Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA), Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association (BJSA), Bangladesh Jute Association (BJA), and Bangladesh Jute Goods Exporters Association (BJGEA) placed the demands at a view-exchange meeting at the BJMA conference room in the city on Tuesday. Currently, high quality raw jute is selling at prices up to Tk3,800 per maund.
However, the jute millers and exporters had taken a decision on Thursday last not to purchase premium quality raw jute at prices above Tk3,000 per maund.
But they step has yet to lay a visible impact on the market.
BJMA Chairman Abul Hossain presided over the meeting attended, among others, by leaders of the associations.
Abul Hossain said a section of unscrupulous traders has engaged themselves in hoarding raw jute over the past three years to make a killing. He lamented the fact that the farmers were being deprived of fair price though the golden fibre was selling at higher prices. Millers cannot run their units because of scarcity of raw jute whereas a good number of mills are facing closure, he observed.
Hoarders stored a huge quantity of raw jute, leading to a big surge in its price, he said, adding due to high prices, millers could purchase only 40 per cent of their required raw jute last season. Calling for conducting mobile court drive against the stockers, the BJMA chief demanded setting an upper ceiling of raw jute price.
BJSA Chairman Sk Nasir Uddin said they lost 40 per cent of their exports to Turkey, the largest market for Bangladeshi jute yarn, in the past two years due to unavailability of raw jute at fair prices.