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With COVID-19 continuing to sweep through India, the country’s 150 year old jute industry – which produced over 4 lakh bales of gunny bags worth Rs 1 500 crore but were unable deliver them due to a lack of resources such as raw materials and supply chain disruptions from October until November 2021. At this time mills began running low on stock because there had been no signficant increase in demand since earlier this year when people started to fear incoming shortages following reports that some farms might not be able grow enough crops after what seemed at first glance like just another bad harvest.

The jute industry in Bengal is facing unprecedented problems. The sector provides employment to nearly 3 lakh workers and several thousand farmer families, but it’s under stress with an increase of raw material prices that has caused closures among manufacturing units across India.

The raw jute drugget price is currently at around 7,000 Rs a quintal. Mills in Kolkata have “shrunk drastically” after the government fixed this import-substitute material’s export ceiling and imports are down by 80%.
A recent proposal from the Indian Jute Mills Association Chairman Raghavendra Gupta did not get approval to scrap or revise prices up; it was simply refused – with no other option but for mills who source their supplies locally — like many companies do in order to buy them on behalf of textile makers if they cannot afford higher costs themselves. Production has dipped dramatically since cotton shortages began months ago with farmers either unable or unwilling to start manufacturing.

The Jute Commissioner’s office said that the intervention was intended to stop hoarding by traders and millers with the price increase also being necessary in order for them continue supplying raw jutes at current levels.

Read the full article at: www.business-standard.com