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Thesis (M.A.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1952. Department of Economics.


Copyright 1952, the author. Used by permission.


At the beginning it was decided to make a complete study of the Coarse Fiber Imports of the United States from the years 1920 to 1950. The study, however, has come to concentrate upon the most important of the coarse fibers, jute. The other coarse fibers have been treated only as they, with cotton and paper, affect the market for jute. As progress was made towards this goal – and because of any interest in the potentialities of Jute fiber in the American market – it was decided to establish a relationship between jute and the American National Income, so as to discover the reasons for the fluctuating demand and supply of the commodity.

As jute is used in industrial textiles, and does have a relationship to the industrial activity of a nation, it was also decided to find its reflected effect in the American industrial activity. These various points mentioned, give a rather broad aspect of what I had in mind as the research progressed.

With further research, many other factors came into the jute picture which were not very clear at the beginning. It was brought out that jute’s chief competitors had an untold effect upon its losing the American market, together with its high prices and insecure source of supply.

In Chapter I, a discussion is devoted to the history, geography, economic and other developments of pertinent coarse fibers.

In Chapter II, a detailed discussion is presented of jute’s developments through the years. Also a part is devoted to other coarse fibers and their importance in the American importation trade. It was decided to present a correlation between the jute imports and their relationship to the National Income from the years 1920 to 1950.

In Chapter III, some recent developments of the jute industry have been evaluated, i.e., the various institutions that have affected the industry, due to the division of the Dominion of India, and the high prices brought about by the Indian Governmental policies, etc. Also included are the recent developments in the jute substitutes production and their effect on the market to replace the utilization of the jute goods. A discussion is also presented of the United States policy toward jute, i.e., the Tariff Act of 1922 and 1930 – which reflects the various import duties imposed upon jute and jute manufactures.

In the end we arrive at certain conclusions to weigh the reasons for the high imports of jute for certain years and the rapid declines – over a period of 30 years. Also a brief presentation is made of the future of jute as a cheap packing material and its varying supply and demand, based upon the behaviour of the jute market, and the developments of other specialized substitutes due to the technological progress made possible with the technics and techniques of modern production systems.

The partition of India in August, 1947, into the Dominion of India and the Dominion of Pakistan, raised a series of questions – but for the purpose and study we shall consider the Dominion of India as a unit before August, 1947, and any reference after that date will refer to both India and Pakistan together.

Advisor: Maurice C. Latta