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Bangladesh lifts ban on yarn import from India

DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh government lifted a ban on yarn import from India via land ports to cool down price rises on the domestic market, a senior official said on Saturday.

“The government has withdrawn the restriction on yarn import in response to the demand of textile makers after the price hike in the domestic market,” said Faizul Huque, spokesman for the commerce ministry.

He told Reuters that the government opened land ports for yarn import so the users could obtain the textile raw material.

About 1.5 million hand loom and power loom units across the country have been on an indefinite strike since Wednesday demanding import of yarn from India through the land ports.

One pound of 40 count yarn was available at 94 cents in October last year but now cost $1.66, users said.

“It is a relief for us and will help to import yarn quickly as nearest sourcing is very important for the industry,” said Kutubuddin Ahmed, a leading exporter of textile products.

Ahmed, also a former president of Dhaka Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said about 600,000 looms were forced to close and the remaining 1.4 million looms failed to use their production capacity due to the high price of yarn.

The local handloom industry meets 80 percent of local demand for fabrics, the industry said.

Bangladesh’s annual yarn demand is 1.0 million tonnes, of which the knit sector uses 700,000 tonnes and the weaving industry the rest.

Bangladesh Textile Mills Association president Abdul Hai Sarker said the decision would hurt and affect the growth of local yarn-making industry.

The textile sector is a major employer in Bangladesh and the highest export earnings come from readymade garments and knitwear.

Reporting by Serajul Islam Quadir; Editing by Ruth Pitchford