Bangladesh Cotton Association concerned over shortage, rising prices

Expressing concern over the uncertainty regarding the availability of cotton and its rising price fuelled by a supply-demand gap, Bangladesh cotton trading industry leaders belonging to the Bangladesh Cotton Association (BCA) recently called on readymade garment (RMG) exporters to be cautious about the price rise and negotiate accordingly while receiving work orders.

They also requested the government to take necessary measures, including setting up of foreign missions in the cotton-producing countries, especially those in West Africa, and encouraging both foreign and local investment in garment production based on man-made fibres.

Apparel sector leaders, however, said they were actively considering setting up a benchmark of the minimum rate of locally-produced garments to help reduce unhealthy price cut practices among exporters while ordering.

BCA’s next president Muhammad Ayub said the global cotton index hit its decade highest index on September 28 last and maintained its rising trend, according to Bangladeshi media reports.

“As cotton harvesting is taking place in most of the cotton producing countries, cotton price was expected to go down. But the reality is different,” he said.

“So we are uncertain what the future price would be and about its availability,” he said, adding that they were not getting any response to their indent offer from the millers as the latter were following a wait and watch strategy.

Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) vice president Fazlul Hoque claimed they had no control on cotton price and that yarn price had not increased as much as cotton.

The BTMA, however, fixed yarn price with consultation with all stakeholders and requested its member mills to maintain the rate until November 30 and informed exporters that yarn price might go up further in December in line with the cotton price.

Buyers are not offering enhanced prices in line with price hike of the raw material, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association executive president Mohammad Hatem noted.

Bangladesh Terry Towel and Linen Manufacturers and Exporters Association chairman Shahadat Hossain Sohel demanded that the government should allow duty free import of all kinds of yarn for one or two years to offset the crisis period. There is a 37 per cent regulatory duty on import of yarn, he said.

The government should withdraw this high duty to help clothing production meet local demand, he added.

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