Bangladesh readymade garment (RMG) export earnings hit the best-ever $4.66 billion in December 2022 – the highest apparel export in a single month ever logged. According to recently published data by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), apparel export achieved 15.56% growth in December which was $4.37 in November.
Bangladesh’s garment sector has always played a major role in the record of export trade. As per EPB data, in December, apparel export earnings contributed a staggering 97% of the country’s total export earnings.
Among the sub-sectors of apparel – knitwear products exports fetched $2.54 billion – with 17% Month-on-month growth in December 2022. While woven products exports fetched $2.11 billion – with 13.43% Month-on-month growth in December 2022.
Faruque Hassan, President, BGMEA, the apex organization of RMG industry owners, told the media, “Because of the war, the economy of Bangladesh, like many countries in the world is under a lot of pressure. Reserves fell below $34 billion. In this situation, increasing the export earnings was very necessary. Now the reserves will increase again. It will be easier for the government to deal with the pressure and will gain confidence.”
In this regard, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi told the media, “This is really surprising information. I did not think that our export sector will do so well in these difficult times. What was needed at this time was done. We will turn around by relying on this export income. The new year will be the year we turn around.”
July to December FY2022-23 performance
EPB data also showed that Bangladesh exported $22.99 billion worth of garments to various countries in the first 6 months (July to December) of FY2022-23, which is 15.56 percent higher than $19.99 billion in the same period of FY2021-22.
EPB statistics showed that knitwear exports during the current fiscal year from July to December reached $12.66 billion, which is 13.42 percent higher than last fiscal year. Exports of oven cloth during this period amounted to $10.33 billion, which is 18.29 percent higher than the same period last year.
Mohammad Hatem, the executive president of BKMEA, an association of garment exporters, said that despite the lack of purchase orders for export in the last two months, the highest amount of exports in the history of Bangladesh has been recorded, which shows the light of hope for industrial owners. Although our condition is not good, it is a good sign for us.
Those related to the sector said that this success of the export sector is surprising. Because of the shortage of gas and electricity in the country from September, production was feared to decrease. But the opposite happened. Economists and exporters say that the economy of Bangladesh will turn around based on this jump in export income.
Calendar year performance
considering the data in the calendar year, Bangladesh marked a new milestone in RMG export in 2022. As per the analysis of BGMEA, Bangladesh’s RMG export reached $45.70 billion in 2022 with 27.64% growth compared to 2021. The export earnings from the knitwear sector was $24.71 billion while the earnings from the woven was $20.99 billion both registering 26.11% and 29.48% year-on-year growth respectively in 2022.
Other textile and allied sub-sector exports
In the first 6 months (July to December) of FY2022-23 period, the home textile sector earned $715 million. Observing a 16.02% negative year-on-year growth.
Specialized textile products earned $193.33 million with 37.54% negative growth. While terry towel products earned $24.45 million. Observing a 23.93% year-on-year negative growth.
Special woven fabric products earned $15.07 million and witnessed a 17.58% growth in the July-December FY2022-23 period.
Knitted fabrics exports earned $146.44 million. Witnessing a 53.91% negative growth in July to December of FY2022-23 period.