Jute exports perk up despite corona

The country’s jute sector continues to play an important role in the national economy amid the Covid-19 pandemic for various action plans taken up by the government.

The export earnings from jute and jute products increased by 30.56 percent to $668.11 million during July-December in the current fiscal (2020-21).

It was $511.73 million in the same period of previous fiscal.

Experts said the country’s export earnings from jute and jute goods have increased rapidly in order to increase demand of the global market.

They said the demand for jute and jute products has increased in developed countries including Europe and America due to the reduction in the use of polythene worldwide in response to demands for using environment friendly biodegradable products.

M Sajjad Hussain Sohel, President of Bangladesh Jute Goods Exporters Association (BJGEA) told Bangladesh Post, the export income from jute and jute products has increased as the price of our products has increased in the global market.

He said the price of raw jute is increasing day by day for lower production of jute due to floods and Covid-19 pandemic.

 Now it is trading at Tk 4,000-4,200 per maund, which usually trades at Tk 2,100-Tk 2,200, he said adding, as a result, it will be difficult to manage enough stock of raw jute for production.

“It is estimated that the export earnings will decrease in the upcoming months. High prices of raw jute were affecting mills and many of them were on the verge of suspending production as current prices were too high to draw in buyers in the coming months,” he mentioned.

Khondaker Golam Moazzem, research director at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said the jute sector has passed an unusual year.

“It is an exceptionally good year for jute exports as shipments have not declined. Instead, it has increased,” he added.

Amid falling export trends, jute and jute goods are still the second largest export product of Bangladesh next to ready-made garments (RMG).

The export earnings from jute and jute goods increased to $ 882.35 million in the last fiscal.

Bangladesh is the second largest exporter of jute after India at present.

However, the country's merchandise export earnings during the first half (H1) of current fiscal year (FY), 2020-21, witnessed a marginal decline of 0.36 percent to $ 19.23 billion over that of the corresponding period of last fiscal.

The country fetched $19.30 billion during the July-December period of FY 2019-20.