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7 May, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Export earnings from jute decline sharply

SHARIF AHMED, DHAKA
Export earnings from jute decline sharply

Export earnings from jute have fallen significantly due to devaluation of the dollar in the global market, a trade

war between China and the US,

and the absence of a strategic

marketing strategy, according to industry insiders.  

Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data says jute and jute goods fetched USD 628.08 million in FY2018–19 (July-March), down from USD 818.09 million recorded during the same period in FY2017-18 (July-March). This marks a negative growth of 23.23 per cent.

Explaining such negative growth, Lutfur Rahaman, senior vice-chairman of the Bangladesh Jute Goods Exporters' Association, said: "African countries used to import huge quantities of jute bags from us. But we're losing the market due to a high import duty of 15 per cent."

Speaking of another reason, Rahaman said: “In the global market, local currencies are depreciating against the dollar. But the taka is getting stronger against the dollar. So, we fell short in exporting goods compared to our competitor countries.”

Talking to The Independent, Enamul Haque Patwary, former president of the Bangladesh Jute Goods Exporters' Association, said: “Devaluation of the dollar in the global market has been the prime reason behind this negative growth of jute exports in our country.”

“A trade war between China and the US is also not helping us,” he added.  

Patwary, who is also the managing director of the Jute and Bags Export Corporation, said: “Our company used to export jute goods worth USD 300,000–400,000 a year. Now, it has come down to almost zero."

Other jute-importing countries like Russia, Turkey and Egypt are also placing fewer orders because of the currency depreciation, he noted.

The export of raw jute fetched USD 95.62 million in FY2018-19 (July-March) as against USD 122.08 million in FY2017-18.

“Local jute prices are better than the export price. So, we get better prices by selling raw jute locally rather than exporting it,” said Patwary.                

Citing another reason, Rahman said: “The export of jute goods to India has been affected due to the imposition of anti-dumping duties on natural fibre-based products from Bangladesh.”

When asked about the ways to counter such negative growth, Rahaman said the government should ink a bilateral trade policy support agreement with other countries to reduce the import duty. Also, the generalized system of preferences (GSP) facility should be given to this sector in order to improve its export performance.

“A strategic marketing plan for the promotion of jute and jute products in the global market is essential for us at this moment,” he added.

African countries like Cameroon, Tanzania, Uganda, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt, and Sudan use jute-made sacks for food grain packaging, but they have stopped buying such sacks because their cropping season is over.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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