Jute exports to India fall amid antidumping duty
Exports of jute goods to India have been affected after New Delhi imposed antidumping duties on the natural fibre-based products from Bangladesh, industry operators said yesterday.
India slapped the antidumping duty – ranging between $19 and $352 a tonne -- on January 5, following which, shipments from Benapole land port, which handles over 90 percent of Bangladesh's jute exports to India, fell in both January and February this year.
Year on year, jute goods exports slumped 52 percent to 6,872 tonnes in January and 37 percent to 6,155 tonnes in February, according to data from Beanpole customs.
“We are still exporting to India, but the volume has declined to a large extent because of the duty,” said Mohammad Shahjahan, newly elected chairman of the Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association (BJSA).
However, shipment of raw jute rose following imposition of the duty, according to data from customs and Bangladesh Jute Association.
Jute is the third largest export earning sector of Bangladesh, after garments and leather, and India is one of the biggest markets for these goods.
India accounted for 17 percent, or 1.41 lakh tonnes out of 8.25 lakh tonnes of jute goods exported in fiscal 2015-16, according to data compiled by the Department of Jute (DoJ).
Considering overall exports worth $689 million to India, the share of jute and jute goods was 37 percent in fiscal 2015-16, according to data from the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Industry insiders said the shipment of firms that face high antidumping duties has fallen in India. But the mills facing low duties have not been affected much, according to operators.
As a result of a decline in demand and exports to India, a number of jute millers have cut production, said Shahjahan.
But the domestic use of jute has increased as the law that mandates the use of jute bags to package cereals, including rice, is being enforced, he added.
“It has become beneficial for us. The extent of our losses has reduced.”Shahjahan however expects the antidumping issue to be resolved after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's four-day visit to India that ends today. She requested Indian Premier Narendra Modi to review the decision.
India would look into the matter, according to the Joint Statement issued on April 8.
However, jute cloths to make sacks remain free from the purview of the anti dumping duty; a section of importers in India are showing interest in buying these sack cloths, said a senior official of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC), seeking anonymity.
Gopi Kishon Sureka, a local jute exporter, said the antidumping duty will also affect consumers in India because of the rise in prices.