Despite having a 12.55% growth in total apparel exports, apparel shipments to non-traditional markets rose by 6.36% to $5.o8 billion in the fiscal year 202-21.
According to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, Bangladesh’s apparel exports to the non-tradition market rose by 6.36% to $5.08 billion in the fiscal year 2020-21, which was $4.78 billion in the previous year.
Of the total amount, knitwear products earned $2.75billion, which was 15.16 percent higher than $2.39 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal year.
Woven products fetched $2.33 billion, down by 2.44 percent, compared to $2.39 in the same period a year ago.
Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, and Turkey are the major non-traditional countries.
The slower exports growth in non-traditional compared to overall apparel exports is mainly due to the negative growth of woven products and slower recovery in their economy.
As per the data, woven products fetched $2.33 billion, down by 2.44 percent, compared to $2.39 in the same period a year ago.
“As the economy of the non-traditional market suffered due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the growth of those markets was slower compared to the overall apparel exports,” SM Khaled, Managing director of Snowtex Group told the Textile Today.
The positive trend in growth was blessing for Bangladesh as it helped to remain afloat amid the pandemic. As the economies in the non-traditional market are opening and recovering gradually, the export earnings from these markets will gear up, said Khaled.
The sharp decline in the Chinese market also expedited the slower growth as the supply chain was severely disrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In line with the EPB data, Bangladesh exports to China declined by 17.78 percent to $271 million, while exports to Brazil declined by 33.66 percent to $72 million.
“Non-traditional markets including China and India are also the manufacturers of clothing products and they meet local demands from own source, which sent imports down,” Mirza Azizul Islam, an economist, told the Textile Today.
This was because of disruption of the supply chain, while there was supply of goods as buyers canceled some orders due to the pandemic, said Islam.
Talking on the slower growth, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president said that the growth will peak by the third quarter of the current year.
We are working to increase exports of clothing products to non-traditional markers as a part of our market diversification, said Hassan.
As the exporters enjoy cash incentives in the non-traditional market, they will drive to export more to this market, he added.
In fiscal year 2020-21, Bangladesh apparel exports posted a 12.55% growth to $31.45 billion, which was $27.94 billion in the previous year.
On the other hand, overall exports earnings of the country stood at $38.75 billion, up by 15.10 percent, which was $33.67 billion.
Meanwhile, country’s overall exports earning rose by 15.10% to $38.75 billion in the FY21, which was $33.67 billion in the previous fiscal year.