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Bleak future for jute as stocks swell

Calcutta, Nov. 29: Jute industry leaders today warned that the failure of food procurement agencies to place orders for gunny bags in the past two months may sound the death knell for the sector.

Jute mills had stockpiles of over 55,000 tonnes at the end of October and the aggregate inventory with the over 50 jute mills may well exceed one lakh tonnes by the end of this month.

The government’s body co-ordinating gunny purchases for packing the rabi crop estimated a requirement of 8.22 lakh bales and rabi procurement was scheduled to commence from the middle of November.

Indian Jute Mills Association (Ijma) chairman G. M. Singhvi told reporters today that indecision on the part of the food ministry in placing orders for gunny bags for packing the rabi crop could affect both the procurement and quality of the crop. “We have no knowledge of how the government is going to manage things,’’ Singhvi said.

Ijma has alleged that “the synthetic lobby in a bid to enter the foodgrains market is making all efforts to delay the placement of indents for supply of bags’’.

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