BTMA fears raw material crisis in Bangladesh, prices may soar

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The Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) recently expressed fears that the sector might face a crisis of raw materials, primarily cotton, in February and March as shipping lines are not ready to carry containers headed to Bangladesh due to a shortage of feeder vessels for timely unloading. Millers said if they failed to get cotton on time, production in many mills would stop and yarn prices would rise.

Though the letter of credits had already been opened for importing cotton needed for February-March, importers would not get the consignments on time due to the reluctance of shipping lines to enter the country’s channel, BTMA office bearers told a press conference.

Along with shortage of feeder vessels, inefficiency of port has also been discouraging shipping lines to carry Bangladesh-bound cargo as loading and unloading take more time, causing additional anchoring charges for the mother vessels, BTMA president Mohammad Ali Khokon said.

Bangladesh textile mills fears that the sector might face a raw material crisis, primarily of cotton, in February and March as shipping lines are not ready to carry containers headed to Bangladesh due to a shortage of feeder vessels to unload. Millers said if they failed to get cotton on time, production in many mills would stop and yarn prices would rise.

Khokon said Bangladesh has to pay additional 4 to 5 cents for a pound of cotton due to the higher freight cost as container clearance in the country takes more than a week due to the complex customs procedures while other countries take a maximum of four to five days, according to Bangla media reports.

More than 100 members of the trade body verbally informed its president that shipping lines were unwilling to enter the Bangladesh channel. Due to the trade war between the United States and China, many containers remained stacked in the ports of the two countries, he said.

Khokon also demanded duty-free import of all types of fibres to ensure product diversification as different types of fibres with cotton are being used in the primary textile sector to produce yarns as per the demand of global buyers.

BTMA senior vice-president Md Fazlul Hoque and director Md Saleudh Zaman Khan, among others, were present in the briefing.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)



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