Category Archives: Plastics/Rubber Industry

Plastic pipe market thrives with time

Plastic pipe market thrives with time
Sohel Parvez

An increase in tube-well installation fuels demand for plastic pipes and encourages firms like Navana, Bengal and Gazi to invest more in the sector.

The market for non-biodegradable plastic pipes has seen a steady rise since it became an alternative to iron pipes in 1985.

Initially, the market consisted entirely of Old Dhaka-based small-scale manual factories, said Moniruzzaman Panna, managing director of Aziz Pipes, one of the oldest pipe makers.

But the landscape started to change as large firms — RFL (Rangpur Foundry Ltd) and National Polymer — were lured in by the growing demand for tube wells thanks to a rise in construction of new buildings.

Industry insiders said the annual market demand for plastic pipes stands between 80,000 tonnes and 125,000 tonnes, and has been growing by 15-20 percent over the past three years.

“The market for plastic pipes is expanding and we expect it to grow in the coming years,” said Atiur Rahman, assistant general manager of Navana Engineering, a concern of Navana Group.

Earlier this year, Navana started producing plastic pipes as water supply accessories. “We will also enter the sanitation and sewerage segment in four months,” Rahman said.

“Plastic pipes are cheaper and last longer than iron pipes, which get rusty after some years,” said Kamruzzaman Kamal, a director in the market leader Pran-RFL Group.

“There is scope for business as the market is growing with the increasing pace of urbanisation and expansion of cities and towns,” said Habibur Rahman, general manager of Bengal Plastic Pipes Ltd, a concern of Bengal Group of Industries.

The entry of more large companies in the market will enhance competition and raise the quality of products, Rahman said.

“Small factories that once ruled the market will gradually be lost to the competition,” he said ruefully.

Many small-cottage based factories were driven out of business in recent years, said Panna of Aziz Pipes.


40 pc growth in export of plastic products

40 pc growth in export of plastic products

DHAKA, Oct 18 (BSS) – Export of plastic products witnessed a 40 percent growth in the last fiscal as the country shipped plastic products worth Taka 2,000 crore especially to the USA and Europe.

“The demand for our plastic goods is increasing in different countries, especially in the USA and European countries, due mainly to restriction on Chinese products,” said Shamim Ahmed, president of Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BPGMEA).

He said manufacturers are producing plastic goods worth over Taka 8,000 crore annually.

According to BPGMEA and Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), the country exports plastic items valued at Taka 500 crore directly and Taka 1,500 crore indirectly to over 23 countries annually.

During the last five years, export of plastic goods increased by Taka 613 crore, witnessing on an average 40 percent annual growth.

Established as a backward linkage industry, plastic industry has now become one of the leading foreign currency earning sectors, said Shamim Ahmed adding that demand for Bangladesh produced plastic goods is increasing in the USA and European countries following imposition of a ban on China-made plastic-toys.

“If we can exploit this advantage, we’ll be able to export plastic products to the USA and European countries worth several billion US dollars,” he added.

Shamim said the sector needs policy support and cash incentive from the government.

“The government often talks about diversification of our export products and I think, plastic goods could be one of such diversified products if necessary support is extended to us,” the BPGMEA president added.

“Plastic is widely used for packaging export products and local manufactures are producing cent per cent such wrapping plastic item,” he added.

The plastic products that are now on export list include shopping bags, butcher bags, PVC pipe, polyethylene-sheets, ball- pens, tooth-brush, toys, hanger, hand- gloves, artificial flowers, table-covers, computer accessories, wastebaskets and wall-clocks.

According to the BPGMEA, major destinations of Bangladesh plastic products are Poland, China, India, Belgium, France, Germany, Canada, Spain, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Italy, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Malaysia and Hong Kong.

At present, there are 3000 small, medium and large plastic product manufacturing industries in the country and over six lakh people are directly and indirectly involved in this industry.

Plastic bag emerges as a new export product

Plastic bag emerges as a new export product
Doulot Akter Mala

The woven plastic bag has emerged as a fast-growing new export product, fetching a sizeable amount of export earnings and helping to diversify the country’s export basket.

Recently, the product has gained a wide popularity across the world for its durability, hygienic quality and reasonable price.

A number of local industries have invested billions of takas for production of the bag after they found its vast export potential.

As many as 60 industries have grown up in the last five years with an estimated investment of Tk 15 billion that are making woven sacks for local use as well as for the export market, industry insiders said.

“In the last two months, we have received orders for 4.0 million pieces of sacks from Indian business conglomerate, Birla, and Lafarge cement companies,” said first Vice-President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), Mr Jashim Uddin.

Mr Jashim, who is the owner of the country’s largest plastic goods industry Bengal Plastic, said the bag is available at a reasonable price and it is also suitable for carrying food grains.

The bag is widely used for carrying cement, fertiliser, rice and other food grains, he said.

Mr. Jashim is also the former president of Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BPGMEA).

The woven plastic sack comprises 50 per cent of the Tk 7.0 billion direct export earning from plastic goods, he said.

BPGMEA President Mr. Shahedul Islam said the woven sack is a successful example of export diversification.

It has gained tremendous popularity both at home and abroad, he said.

The plastic bag is considered a threat to jute promotion but due to its cheaper price it has become more acceptable to the users than jute bag, he added.

Mr Jashim said the government is preparing a law to discourage use of plastic bags and encourage use of jute bags.

“I am not against the jute promotion initiatives. Jute can be used for different other products, not only for bags,” he said.

A woven plastic sack is available at Tk 12 while a jute bag of the same size costs Tk 70-80, he said.

Referring to a discussion at a recent meeting on encouraging use of jute bags for fertiliser distributed by Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC), Mr. Jashim said the government found that it would have to provide Tk 3.0 billion as subsidies to introduce jute bags, instead of plastic ones.

Prices of food grains will also jump if jute bags are used and this will cause an additional pressure on consumers who are already hit hard by spiralling prices of essentials, he said.

He said the government should sit with the businesses for fixing policies relating to uses of jute, instead of that of plastic.

Bangladeshi company to invest $29m in DEPZ

Bangladeshi company to invest $29m in DEPZ

DHAKA, April 7 (BSS) – A Bangladeshi company will set up a plastic raw materials processing and polyester synthetic and yarn manufacturing industry in the Dhaka Export Processing Zone.

Bengal Petrochem and Synthetic Textile Limited, the 100 percent Bangladeshi owned company, will invest 29 million US dollars in setting up their unit and will manufacture plastic raw materials processing and polyester synthetic and yarn items, a BEPZA press release said.

“The company will also create employment opportunity for 1,200 Bangladeshi nationals,” it said.

An agreement to this effect was signed between the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) and M/s Bengal Petrochem and Synthetic Textile Limited at BEPZA Complex here today.

Md Moyjuddin Ahmed, member (Investment Promotion) of BEPZA, and Humayun Kabir, Director of M/s, Bengal Petrochem and Synthetic Textile Limited, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations.

Major General A T M Shahidul Islam, executive chairman of the BEPZA, was also present on the occasion.

Rubber exports rose 103pc during July-January

Rubber exports rose 103pc during July-January

Dhaka, Feb 14:Rubber producers and exporters have witnessed exponential growth in the last seven months, on the back of rising demand in international and domestic markets. During July-January, earnings from rubber exports stood at USD 10.06 million, an increase of 103.64% over the corresponding period in the previous year, according to data published by Export Promotion Bureau (EPB). Target for rubber exports were set at USD 5.71 million, for the period under review.

Businessmen from 54 countries, specially India, China, Saint Barthélemy, Malaysia, Turkey, Singapore and Pakistan are showing keen interest over Bangladeshi raw and processed rubber for its quality, Syed Moazzam Hossain, president, The Bangladesh Rubber Garden Owners Association (BRGOA), told The Independent. “This year, we are not far from the targeted rubber exports,” he added.

The global shortage and price-hike of rubber were forcing international traders to treat Bangladesh as an alternative source, he pointed out. “The budget has imposed 15 per cent VAT on us, restricting the sector’s growth,” Hossain said.

Local planters sell rubber latex sheets, which are perishable items, for industrial use, he said, adding, “Sandals made from raw rubber is supposed VAT free. But producers still have to fork out VAT.”

Imposing VAT on raw rubber is “unfair”, as the government has withdrawn VAT from all agro-based products, such as rice, jute, potato or tomato, to boost growth in these sectors, he said. A rubber tree absorbs more carbon dioxide than other trees, Hossain said, adding that the new VAT will also threaten the environment and discourage plantation.

A 17-member delegation had visited Malaysia from January 26 to 29, to gain knowledge and exchange views on rubber plantation and processing, explore areas of possible cooperation, and establish business network between rubber planters of the two countries, he added. Growers said a large number of foreign traders were looking for rubber here, as its price in the local market was lower than that of current global prices, which has gone up in an unprecedented manner.

Cultivation of rubber is relatively new in Bangladesh, compared to other countries. The government has been encouraging plantations in the hill areas, since 1980. About 45,000 acres of land have been allotted to the BFIDC so far, and 32,500 acres to private owners, for rubber plantations.

Sudden spurt of foreign demand for local rubber

Sudden spurt of foreign demand for local rubber
Shakhawat Hossain

Local rubber growers are having a good time as a growing number of international traders are looking for rubber in Bangladesh because of the current shortage of the item in the global market.

The Bangladesh Rubber Garden Owners Association’s general secretary, Harun-ur Rashid, told New Age on Thursday that businessmen from Turkey, Pakistan and India have come here looking for rubber.

Some growers have already shipped out around 1,200 tonnes of rubber in the last six months and many other orders have already been received. The global shortage and price-hike of rubber were forcing the international traders to treat Bangladesh as an alternative source, he added.

Growers said that a large number of foreign traders were looking for rubber here as its price in the local market was at least $1 lower per kg than that of current global price, which has soared in an unprecedented manner.

According to the London-based Financial Time, the price of natural rubber, the commodity used to make products ranging from tyres to condoms, has hit an all-time high [above $3.50 per kg] in the current month after a severe drought in Thailand, the world’s largest producer, curtailed supplies.

The price-hike of rubber has broken one of the longest standing price records in commodities, dating back to 1952, when fears about the potential spread of the Korean War to key South-East Asian rubber-producing countries triggered panic buying, added the Financial Time.

Besides the international shortage that has led to traders coming here, local consumption of rubber has also gone up substantially, elating the local growers, said a senior official of the Bangladesh Forest Industries Development Corporation. The BFIDC, the state-owned rubber plantation, cleared its stock-lot of 6,000 tonnes of rubber four months ago, though it has been facing difficulties in clearing its stock-lot since 2008, he added.

The rubber growers said that the country produces about 10,000 tonnes of rubber per year with BFIDC accounting for 60 per cent of the production. The other 40 per cent comes from the private growers who were permitted to plant rubber trees in the 1980s.

The country has attained self-sufficiency in rubber, which is mainly bought by footwear industries and tyre and tube producers.

Rubber has huge export potential, especially to India that imports nearly 1,00,000 tonnes of rubber to meet its internal demand of 10,00,000 tonnes annually.

Plastic fair makes brisk business

Plastic fair makes brisk business
Star Business Report

Participants in the sixth Dhaka International Plastic, Packaging and Printing Industrial Fair were satiated on the concluding day yesterday, as they received large volumes of spot sales and orders.

A total of 350 local and foreign firms took part in the fair.

Manufacturers and machinery importers received orders worth around Tk 500 crore, while many sold machinery essential to produce packaging materials for pharmaceuticals and garment factories.

At present, the country’s growing garment and pharmaceutical sectors are sourcing most packaging materials from local makers, one of the main drivers of the growing plastic market, said industry people.

They said the Tk 4,000 crore local market is growing at 20 percent a year. At present, local manufacturers are exporting plastic hangers, polybags and shopping bags.

Morshed Alam, managing director of Bengal Group of Industries, said the local market is growing fast, as the sector is becoming cost-effective and producing high quality products.

“The market was not big even 10-12 years back. But now local producers are able to meet the demand for packaging materials of the garment and pharmaceutical industries, ” he said.

Bengal Group of Industries, which holds nearly two thirds of the total market share, won the ‘Best Company Award’ at the fair.

Along with packaging materials and home appliances, the company recently began producing adhesive items.

Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Chan Chao International Co Ltd jointly organised the four-day event at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka.

In addition to locally produced items, imported machinery was also popular at the show, as most importers received satisfactory sales and spot orders.

Saiful Islam, manager of Shazin Trade International, said his company sold 5 packaging machines worth Tk 18 lakh and received some more orders.

Abdur Rahim, managing director of Global Plastic which imports machinery to produce pet bottles, said they experienced brisk sales worth Tk 5 crore.

At the concluding ceremony, plastic goods manufacturers urged the government to relax the customs and bank guarantee rules, extend cash incentives and promptly establish a Plastic Industrial Park.

HT Imam, adviser to the prime minister, and Ferdous Wahed, president of the plastic makers’ association, also spoke.