Exporters demand lifting curb on raw jute exports

FE Report | Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Local raw jute exporters demanded the government withdraw the restrictions on exports of the commodity in the name of uncut low-grade varieties.
In a letter to the Prime Minister's Office on Monday, the Bangladesh Jute Association (BJA) warned that if these two categories of raw jute are not exported, income from the sector will tumble.
Low-quality raw jute will be stockpiled after this embargo, imposed by the authority on Thursday last, they said.
They also sent Sunday separate letters to the relevant ministries including Jute, Commerce and Finance in this connection.
According to Section 13 of Jute Law 2017, the ministry of textiles and jute banned exports of Bangla Tossa Rejection (BTR) and Bangla White Rejection (BWR), which will continue to be effective until further notice.
A circular, issued by the ministry on January 18, also said the decision would be enforced immediately.
Without consultation with exporters, the jute ministry imposed the ban on their exports, said Syed Ali, chairman of the BJA.
"We oppose such decision as it will affect our business seriously," he said.
He added that they will lose buyers and unused raw jute will build up.
A significant volume of the total production of raw jute is low-grade. Local jute millers do not purchase such raw jute. For this reason, they export these items, he said.
When asked, Abdul Quayyum, secretary of the BJA, said after cutting rejected parts of BTR and BWR, value addition will increase.
But buyers want such uncut items. Besides, there is no such a big market globally to import by-products of raw jute. "We fear losing our market," he added.
Farmers will also lose interest in producing raw jute.
Rejected raw jute (cutting) made by local millers is not exported entirely as the market is limited. Even more, there is hardly any mill to use such cutting locally.
If BTR and BWR are processed, the volume of rejection will increase to 50 per cent from existing 20 per cent. It will create a major problem in managing such a big volume of cutting.
On an average, some 1.0-1.5 million bales of raw jute are exported each year from Bangladesh. India, Pakistan and China are the major importers of Bangladeshi raw jute.
About 7.0 to 8.0 million bales of raw jute are produced yearly locally.

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