Rubber producers eye export market

March 25, 2009

Shakhawat Hossain

A worker collects raw rubber from a tree in a Chittagong garden.— BFIDC photo

A worker collects raw rubber from a tree in a Chittagong garden.— BFIDC photo

The state-owned rubber producer has sought approval from the higher authorities to export its products in a move that has been hailed by private sector as well because it will open a new chapter to the local rubber growers.
‘We have sought permission from the forest ministry to export rubber,’ said Bangladesh Forest Industries Development Corporation chairman Didarul Ahsan.
This is the best option for the BFIDC to clear its 4,500 tonnes of processed rubber which remain stockpile due to falling demand of the item in the local market, he told New Age.
The move was welcomed by the Bangladesh Rubber Garden Owners’ Association saying that it would create new opportunity for the local rubber growers.
‘Local private rubber growers will be benefited from the move as it will pave the way for the country’s rubber export,’ said Bangladesh Rubber Garden Owner’s Association vice-president Motaher Billah Chowdhury.
The country’s rubber has huge export potential in India that imported nearly 1 lakh tonnes of processed rubber to meet its internal demand for 10 lakh tonnes annually, he said.
Representatives of BRGOA participated in a fair in Kolkata in January where rubber buyers from 35 countries gathered.
The buyers from Kolkata and Assam expressed keen interest to import rubber from Bangladesh. Rubber import from Bangladesh would be cheaper for the Indian importers, he added.
The BFIDC chairman said Sri Lanka and Pakistani businessmen also inquired about rubber produced in Bangladesh.
He hoped that the ministry would approve rubber export helping the country to expand its export-basket.
Experts said the prospect of rubber export was good news amid fear that global recession might hit the country’s main export items such as readymade garment, jute, leather and frozen food.
The country produces about 10 thousand tonnes of rubber with the BFIDC accounting 60 per cent of the production. Rest of the production comes from the private gardeners.
The country has attained self sufficiently in rubber. The local rubbers are mainly consumed by footwear industries and tyre and tube producers.
Local rubber consumption is falling as local footwear makers nowadays use artificial imported soles for footwear instead of using rubber, the BFIDC officials said.
Private gardeners said the quality of BFIDC rubber was very good that would be added an advantage for the country’s oldest organisation to explore the export market.

Courtesy of NewAge

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