Amid a sharp decline in overall exports due to the Covid-19 pandemic, export earnings from the jute and jute goods exports posted an 8.10% growth to $882.35 million in FY20.
Not only a positive growth but also it has taken the second position in terms of export earnings from the leather sector.
According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, Bangladesh’s export earnings from jute and jute goods posted an 8.10% growth to $882.35 million in Fy20, which was $816.27 million in FY19.
Of the total amount, raw jute earned $130 million, up by 15.48% from $112.48 million. Jute yarn and twine, the largest contributor to the sector, fetched $564.26 million posting a 10.12% growth compared to the previous year’s earnings of $512.42 million.
On the other hand, jute sack and bags saw a 28.58% rise to $106.54 million, which was $83 million and other products earned $82 million, which was $108.51 million.
Since the export earnings from leather and leather goods registered a 21.79% fall to $798 million, the jute and jute goods sector has become the second-largest export earners after the RMG sector.
Talking to Textile Today, sector people said the better position amid the crisis raised hope that once again jute will be the golden fiber of Bangladesh.
They also said export earnings have increased as the demands for green products rising gradually in the US as well as European Union markets.
“The global demands for jute and jute goods are better than it had in the past. The prices are also better than the previous one. As a result, despite the crisis period, the export earnings from the sector performed well,” Md. Zahid Miah, Director of Jobaida Karim Jute Mills told Textile Today.
“We welcome the government decision of shutting down the mills as the government has plans to make the mills vibrant through a private-public partnership,” said Zahid.
On Thursday, the government decided to shut its 25 state-owned jute mills operated by the Bangladesh Jute Mill Corporation (BJMC) by providing 100 percent dues of the workers of the mills.
If the government can implement the plan with effective measures within a shorter span of time, it will expedite the prospect of the jute sector, he said.
On top of that, diversified jute goods are another window, which earns better prices as people are using these goods in home decoration, he added.
The market opportunity to grow further as the European Union and a good number of states in the United States were going to ban the use of polythene and plastics products, he expressed hope.
“Amid the coronavirus crisis, the rise in export earnings from the jute and jute goods is a good sign for the sector as well as for the country’s economy. In attaining such growth, the private sector played a crucial role,” Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) research director Khondaker Golam Moiazzem told Textile Today.
As the government already has decided to lay off its mills, the jute sector will take lead in the global export markets through private sector entrepreneurs, said Moazzem.