Artificial city

Jute traders, millers tired of artificial supply shortages

The government will launch a campaign against illegal storage

According to the Export Promotion Bureau, the export revenue of jute and jute goods decreased by 12% year-on-year to $590 million during the July-December 2021-22 period. The photo was taken at a jute market in Shibaloy, Manikganj. Photo: Anisur Rahman

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According to the Export Promotion Bureau, the export revenue of jute and jute goods decreased by 12% year-on-year to $590 million during the July-December 2021-22 period. The photo was taken at a jute market in Shibaloy, Manikganj. Photo: Anisur Rahman

The government is about to launch a special campaign against illegal stockpiles of raw jute to ensure steady supply in the domestic market and enable spinning mills to manufacture jute goods for export, the ministry said yesterday. textiles and jute.

Golam Dastagir Gazi, Minister of Textiles and Jute, made the announcement during a meeting with key leaders of Bangladesh Jute Association (BJA), Bangladesh Jute Mills Association (BJMA) and Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association ( BJSA).

The statement came amid allegations by millers that traders were stockpiling raw jute in a bid to artificially raise prices, causing shipments of jute products to drop.

Faced with rising raw jute prices, millers and spinners have collectively decided that they will not buy the natural fiber for more than Tk 3,000 per maund from 20 January.

According to millers and traders, each maund (about 37 kilograms) of raw jute sells for between 3400 and 3600 Tk. However, they reversed their decision following objections from the spinners.

In a statement, the Minister of Textiles and Jute said production at jute mills had stalled due to a shortage of raw fibres.

“Government will take tough action against dishonest hoarders to maintain the trend of export supply of jute and jute goods from Bangladesh,” he said.

“The Jute Department has been instructed to take necessary measures, such as prohibiting unlicensed dishonest traders from buying and selling raw materials and prohibiting the sale and purchase of wet jute,” added Gazi.

Thus, raw jute traders or traders will not be able to store more than 1,000 maunds of raw jute for more than one month. Effective measures have been taken to ensure an adequate supply of seeds for the cultivation of jute during the current season.

Gazi also said that the Ministry of Agriculture, together with the Ministry of Textiles and Jute, has drawn up a five-year roadmap to achieve self-sufficiency in the standard production of jute seeds.

The first phase of the program will start this year and if all goes as planned, Bangladesh will be self-sufficient in improved jute seed production by 2025, without future seed imports.

Under the Annual Development Program (ADP), the Ministry of Textiles has undertaken a project titled “Advanced Jute and Jute Seed Production and Expansion Technology” to achieve self-sufficiency in seed production high-yielding jute, and motivating and supporting farmers to produce quality jute. .

The project is implemented in 230 upazilas in 46 districts across the country, Gazi said.

All farmers in the project will receive free high yielding jute seed fertilizer and other agricultural machinery including pesticides, he added.

Contacted, Md Abul Hossain, President of BJMA, said he met the Minister yesterday and had a fruitful discussion.

“We demanded the implementation of the Jute Law 2017. We managed to convince Gazi, who assured us that tough measures would be taken soon,” he said.

“We are not against farmers, we just want to fight against some dishonest profiteers who have made huge profits by hoarding raw jute illegally and selling them at exorbitant prices creating an artificial crisis in the market,” added Hosain.

Hossain also told the Daily Star that they made the decision, but it was the spinners who turned it down.

However, he mentioned that raw jute prices are now around Tk 3,500 per maund.

Earlier on January 25, top executives of jute mills said they were going through an exceptional situation as they had already lost around 40 percent of their market share in Turkey due to the scarcity of raw jute.

According to the Export Promotion Bureau, revenue from jute and jute goods fell 12% year-on-year to $590 million during the July-December 2021-22 period.

Arzu Rahman, Senior Vice President of BJA, said the Minister of Textiles and Jute assured to take immediate action, saying the ministry called an emergency meeting tomorrow (today) with various stages of officials government to give guidelines against the dishonest and unlicensed. hoarders who make an artificial crisis.

“The greatest mismanagement of hoarders’ activities has been taking place over the past two years due to the negligence of local and central governments,” he said.

“If the ministry does not take strict measures, we will face a difficult situation as foreign buyers divert their attention from our jute products to alternative items after failing to purchase the goods at the stipulated prices,” Rahman added. .