Bangladesh’s readymade garments (RMG) export earnings fetched $2.51 billion in April 2021, while it was only $375 million in April last year.
Apparel export rose by 6.24% to $26 billion in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, compared to the same period of the last fiscal year.
Knitwear products registered 15.34% growth to $13.99 billion, while woven garment export fell 2.71% to $12 billion, compared to the same period in FY20.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan said to a leading daily, “It is not a normal growth, but the bouncing back of apparel export has just begun.”
“We hope the export of apparels will boost by September this year, and it fully depends on the reopening of European markets, as many EU countries still remain under lockdown,” he added.
The BGMEA president also mentioned that the apparel export to the US was performing well, while the country’s overall apparel import came down compared to last year.
Globally, apparel consumption has declined by more than 10% over the last year due to the drastic fall in income during the Covid-19 pandemic, he added.
As a result apparel prices also significantly declined although the cost of production has increased owing to the high prices of raw materials and freight charges, said the BGMEA president.
In some cases, apparel makers are continuing production even at lower production cost with the hope that the business will bounce back in the coming days, said Faruque Hassan.
Asif Ibrahim, a Director of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said to a leading daily that although the increase in April seems higher, the growth in apparel exports is only 2.76%.
Ibrahim said, since the implementation of the revised minimum wage, 13 factories have been closed and another 70 factories will face the same fate.
Ibrahim added, “At the same time, orders have been diverted to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Pakistan because of their competitive currency advantage.”