Jute prices falling again!

Mongla Nov 22 (UNB)

The country’s jute sector, which saw a mentionable progress in recent past, is now bracing for a severe downfall.

Slump in the price of jute, its production, export income and internal market system makes the prospect of the “golden fiber” appear gloomy again.

The farmers, traders and mill owners see hardly any signs for jute to revive to its past glory.

The golden days of the once big forex earner are now just ending in their frustration.

In the last two years, the farmers fell in a precarious condition because of continuous loss.

The traders and mill owners are seeing sluggish business as sale of jute has slowed down at home and abroad.

The mills run buy the government are in a great trouble.

The cultivation of jute has drastically fallen owing to previous loss of the farmers.

Moreover, a huge amount of jute remains unsold in the godowns. For this reason, the price has gone down.

High prices of fertilisers, fuel, and increased wages of labourers have raised its production cost.

Last year, the price of jute was comparatively low but it was sold at Tk 2000 to Tk 2500 per maund.

Jute is produced not only in Faridpur, Madaripur, Shariatpur and Gopalgonj but also in Khulna, Satkhira, Jessore, Jhenidah, Kushtia, Chuadanga, and Meherpur districts.

This year, price of jute is lower than Tk 1500 per maund.

The jute of Jessore and the northern region which is a bit lower in quality is being sold at Tk 800 to Tk 1000
per maund.

Bangladesh had the opportunity to capture the international jute market. In the last few years, many political steps were also taken to reopen the closed jute mills with this view in mind.

Sources at the Department of Agriculture Extension said last year 80 lakh bales of jute were produced form 7.60 lakh hectares of land.

This year, jute was cultivated on 60,000 hectres of land and the production may not be more than 70 lakh bales, experts think.

On the other hand, in the last three years export of jute and jute products increased and the income as well.

In the recent years, export jute faced a slumped and the income decreased by 13 per cent.

In the fiscal year 2010-11, the country earned US$114.40 crore from jute export.

In the 2011-12 fiscal, the income decreased to US$96.70 crore.

The day labourers are passing their days idle due to lack of work.

Jute trader Harun-Ar-Rashid informed that because of low rainfall the farmers could not ret jute in water. So the quality of jute has been very low.

Moreover, the traders show less interest on jute export because of high transport cost.

In the last fiscal, nine jute mills earned profit out of the total eighteen.

Originally, the market of Bangladeshi jute comprises of Egypt, Iran, Syria and Libya.

For political reason, they have reduced import of jute from Bangladesh.

Mahafujul Haque, the president of Bangladesh Jute Association, said, “Main customer of our jute is India but the export process has been delayed due to problem at Banapole land port.”

Every year the demand of jute seed on average is 4000-4,500 tonnes.

The demand of 1000-1500 tonnes is fulfilled by a few seed companies and some farmers who grow seeds in their own land.