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            july 21, 2018

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Cotton shippers are hit by severe congestion at Port of Chittagong


There are concerns among US cotton exporters that capacity will be insufficient to move their containerised commodities to Bangladesh's textile and apparel factories due to severe congestion at the Port of Chittagong.
In response to the congestion that has been mounting for weeks, the port authority has introduced tighter limits on the time ships can stay in port.
Bangladesh cotton importers said they have been advised of a surcharge of US$150 per TEU because of congestion that is reaching a "critical level" at Chittagong, reported IHS Media.
"All shipping lines calling Chittagong terminals are heavily impacted, with vessels waiting an additional seven to ten days on average above the normal berth wait times," a said a notice from ANL.
US cotton exporters said that although Bangladesh is a growing market, its port congestion and lack of direct services adds complexity to their supply chains. Unlike Vietnam and China, whose ports are called by numerous weekly mainline services from the US east and west coasts, Bangladesh is served mainly by feeders.
Bangladesh Textile Mills Association secretary Monsoor Ahmed said port congestion threatens to raise costs. He confirmed that carriers have advised "that due to congestion in Chittagong port, they are in quandary whether to send vessels in Chittagong port or not.
"If the present situation continues, cotton prices may go up and the problem may turn worst," he said.
Managing director Mahmudur Rahman Sumon of Zaheen Spinning, a producer of cotton yarn, said supply problems could hurt the country's spinning industry by raising prices for raw cotton and yarn.
"Now both our imports and exports are affected due to the severe congestion in the port impacting our competitiveness," he said. "The government should have had looked into the problems at the port much earlier to keep the lifeline of the country's economy unhindered."

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