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Apparel export jumps 12.82% to $31.73 bn in July-May

Just after the Eid vacation the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data showing us the apparel export earnings for July-May period of FY19, increased by 12.82% to $31.73 billion from $28.13 billion in the same period of FY18, according to the EPB.

Apparel export jumps 2019
Figure: The woven garments sector grew by 13.13% to $16.05 billion.

Earnings from woven garments grew by 13.13% to $16.05 billion from $14.18 billion in the same period of the last fiscal year. On the other hand, knitwear export grew by 12.50% to $15.68 billion from $13.94 billion.

“We are receiving a lot of work orders from US retailers and brands for the ongoing trade war between the US and China. This is one of the major reasons for the higher shipment of garment items,” said Asif Ibrahim, a director of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

We are receiving a lot of work orders from US retailers and brands for the ongoing trade war between the US and China. This is one of the major reasons for the higher shipment of garment items.

Asif Ibrahim, a director of the BGMEA

US retailers and brands are flocking to Bangladesh because they want hassle-free shipment and do not want any uncertainty.

Sector leaders opined that work orders are also shifting from China and other countries to Bangladesh as the RMG sector in the world’s second-largest economy – China – faces a higher cost of production, uncertainty and a lack of skilled workers.

The massive transformation in Bangladesh’s garment sector since the collapse of the Rana Plaza has also made the country an attractive destination to place orders.

The buyers’ confidence in the country has improved significantly owing to the inspection and remediation of garment factories by the Accord and the Alliance, the two western brands’ platforms set up to improve the workplace safety in the sector.

woven, knitwear, jute 2019 export earnings

Apart from apparel, some other sectors also fared well.

However, leather and leather goods and jute and jute goods continued their poor show. Leather and leather goods fetched $943.83 million, down 5.53% year-on-year.

This is largely because many tanneries that have shifted to the leather estate in Savar have not started full production yet.

The leather sector is the only segment that had crossed the $1-billion export mark after the garment sector and it still has the opportunity to repeat the success at the end of the fiscal year.

Exports of jute and jute goods, another important foreign currency earner, fell 19.99% year-on-year to $773.57 million. The sector’s export earnings are declining mainly because of higher use of jute goods like sacks in the domestic market and the anti-dumping duty slapped on it by India.

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