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Bangladesh jute sector facing tough times

The jute sector in Bangladesh has been facing a major setback due to a severe disruption in transport of raw materials to mills and movement of export items to ports amid a countrywide blockade and hartal. Transport cost has doubled due to violence. As a result, purchase of raw jute and production of finished products have marked a sharp fall.

Many export consignments can’t be sent to ports due to the disruption in transport network amid widespread arson attacks on vehicles. Some 154 raw jute purchase centers operated by the Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation bought 10,382 tons raw jute in December last year, which came down to only 2,785 tons in January this year.

As jute mills are not getting sufficient raw materials, and facing problems in delivering finished goods, mills have scaled down their production. There is a fear export of raw jute may see a steep fall this fiscal due to internal shocks coupled with a global economic recession. Jute export was also meager in the first six months of the current fiscal.

Truck owners are reluctant to carry jute, which is highly flammable, due to events of setting vehicles on fire during blockade and hartal. Truck owners agreeing to transport jute charge double amount as fare.