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Withdrawal of export ban

Jute farmers getting high prices this year

Yasir Wardad | Published: August 26, 2019 10:53:52 | Updated: August 27, 2019 10:50:07


Photo collected from internet has been used for representational purpose only

Local farmers are getting much higher prices for their raw jute in this harvesting season than last season, following the government's withdrawal of ban on uncut jute export from June, said insiders.

Besides, availability of ample water for retting jute timely also helps the farmers to get quality produce this year.

However, local exporters of jute-made products are in a tough ride amid low global demand for their products as well as scarcity of quality raw materials.

Raw jute of tossa variety was selling at Tk 1,700-2,400 a maund (40 kg) and desi variety at Tk 1,400-1,800 a maund based on quality at farm level across the country for last three weeks.

The prices during this year's harvesting season are 40-50 per cent higher than those of last year, according to the Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM).

Our Tangail correspondent Shahbuddin Manik adds: Newly harvested jute was selling at Tk 1,600-2,000 a maund in Korotia Bazar of the district.

Kashem Ali Mridha, a farmer from Karotia Jamidarbari area, told the FE that the price was hardly Tk 1,000-1,500 last year.

He grew tossa jute on five bighas of his land, and got 42 maunds of output this year.

He sold his produce at Tk 75,000 (excluding price of jute sticks), and made a profit of Tk 25,000, whereas he incurred Tk 32,000 loss by cultivating jute on the same land last year.

The Tangail DAE office has recorded jute cultivation on 14,280 hectares of land this year, which was below 13,500 hectares last year.

Our Gopalganj correspondent Md Alimuzzaman adds: Tossa jute was selling at Tk 2,000-2,400 a maund in Kashiani Bazar under Gopalganj and Keshtopur Bazar under Faridpur for the last two and a half weeks.

Desi variety was selling at Tk 1,600-1,800 a maund in the Faridpur region, the country's key jute sourcing zone. The price is the highest in three years, he added.

Meanwhile, Razib Kumar Kundu, a Nilphamari-based jute trader, said prices of raw jute are much higher in this harvesting season, as the government has withdrawn the ban on uncut jute export in June.

He said: "We sourced 'jaat tossa' (a jute variety of Nilphamari) at Tk 1,700-1,800 a maund this year, which was hardly Tk 1,200-1,300 a maund last year."

Local farmers are benefitting much from the jute price hike. But, local traders would witness a huge loss, if the government re-imposes the ban on uncut jute export all of a sudden.

Shahidul Karim, Secretary of the Bangladesh Jute Spinners' Association (BJSA), told the FE that the jute industry always appreciates that the farmers are getting their due profit. It is the key for ensuring existence of the export-based jute industry.

According to field report-based prediction, prices of raw jute will increase further, as production might decline in Faridpur, Madaripur and Shariatpur districts amid crop loss, he also said.

Besides, quality tossa jute might be exported in the names of BTR (Bangla tossa rejection) and BWR (Bangla white rejection).

"We fear that the local jute industry would not get quality jute, if the export of uncut BTR and BWR continues."

He further said the jute industry is going through a tough time amid low global demand as well as imposition of various anti-dumping duties on Bangladeshi products by neighbouring India.

The sector witnessed a 20.5 per cent decline in shipment last fiscal year (FY), 2018-19, as export dropped to US$ 816 million from $ 1.025 billion in FY 2017-18.

"Jute yarn sector also witnessed a 20 per cent export decline in FY 19, which maintained a 10-20 per cent growth for the previous five years," he added.

Meanwhile, the government has lowered the country's jute export target to $824 million for the current FY, which was $1.085 billion for FY 19.

It has targeted to produce 8.5 million bales (one bale=180 kg) of jute this year on 0.7 million hectares of land.

tonmoy.wardad@gmail.com

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