In another bad news for the jute industry, India has slapped anti-dumping duty on jute sacking cloth from Bangladesh, triggered by a spike in its import following the imposition of similar duty on sacks and products in 2017.
Earlier on 5 January, 2017 India had imposed anti-dumping duty, ranging from $19 and $352 per tonne, on jute yarn/twine, Hessian fabric and jute sacking bags from Bangladesh and Nepal.
Jute sacking cloth was left out, which prompted wily Indian importers to bring it instead to get around the anti-dumping duty. The escalating imports of the item compelled the Indian authorities to investigate the matter.
The tariff comes as the value-addition in converting jute cloth into sacks is insufficient, said the gazette notification from the neighbouring country’s finance ministry on Tuesday.
India has imposed anti-dumping duty of $125.21 per tonne on jute sacking cloth from 15 Bangladeshi exporters and $138.97 on others.
Some 11 exporters escaped the fine as the Indian finance ministry’s investigations found their shipment quantities of jute cloth to not be excessive.
The development is a big blow to jute goods exporters, who are progressively seeing their export market shrink for a host of reasons including competition from the lower priced polypropylene and synthetic goods and falling demand from traditional markets.
India was one of the largest export destinations for Bangladesh’s jute and jute goods but after the imposition of the anti-dumping duty in 2017 shipments shrank. The latest round of levy would exacerbate matters.
Export of jute and jute goods dipped 20 percent year-on-year to $773 million in the first 11 months of fiscal year 2018-19 according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau. And shipment of jute sacks and bags suffered a 33 percent slump.
The fresh duty by the Indian authorities would definitely hurt the jute industry, said A Barik Khan, secretary general of the Bangladesh Jute Mills Association.
“Our exports to India slumped heavily after the duty in 2017,” he added.
The Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association echoed the same. “We are very concerned,” said BJSA Chairman Md Zahid Miah.