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Bangladesh Table of Contents



Jute has long been Bangladesh's major foreign exchange earner, and although other products have become important, in 1987 jute still accounted for more than 50 percent of export revenue, with manufactures accouting for an increasing portion of the total (as compared with raw jute) (see table 13, Appendix; Industrial Crops , this ch.).

Since independence, Bangladesh's largest customer for jute products has been the United States; the bulk of sales has been divided fairly evenly between burlap and carpet backing. But, consistent with the global pattern, the United States market has eroded fairly steadily over the years. Sales to the United States reached a low of US$81.8 million in 1986 but increased again to US$104.5 million in 1987, when both prices and volume rose. The market for jute sacking was assisted by the fact that some recipient countries of American food aid specified burlap for their United States imports because they had a secondary market for the bags.

Data as of September 1988