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Bangladesh earns $16.02 billion in July-December from apparel export

Export earnings from apparel items upgraded a bit in December in comparison to November, however, the increase in December is down by 6.21% compared to the same period last fiscal year.

According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, earnings from RMG (Ready-made Garments) export for July-December of FY 2019-20 is USD16.02 billion.

Though December and January are peak months anyway and compared to that, the sector hasn’t had any significant improvement.

Earning from woven garments fell by 7.28% to $7.82 billion in July-December of FY20 from $8.43 billion in the same period of last fiscal year. On the other hand, knitwear export fell by 5.16% to $8.20 billion from $8.43 billion.

Figure 1: Ready-made Garments (RMG) export for July-December of  FY 2019-20.

The negative trend continued this year and the export trend showed that the earning might be in the negative zone also in the coming days. But looking ahead, garment manufacturers are expecting a better year in 2020.

Apparel industry leaders identified mainly five reasons for the decline. Which are:

  1. Stronger currency exchange rate of Taka against US dollars
  2. Policy incentives by competitor countries, which is why they are being able to get more business by lowering prices
  3. Promised policy supports for the RMG industry are yet to be materialized
  4. Poor efficiency and relatively higher cost of doing business
  5. Over concentration of the industry to a few product items ranging in the lower tier of price and over-concentration of markets are also among the top-rated challenges

“We are not aligned at all with the global competitive scenario, particularly the exchange rate movement of Taka against the competitor currencies remain inconsistent,” said Rubana Huq, President, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

Simultaneously, the export of the home textile sector witnessed a steep decline of 9.5% – the sector exported USD 370 million.

Other than apparel product the export earnings from leather and leather goods in July-December of FY20 fell by 10.61% to $475.83 million from $532.3 million in the same period of last fiscal year.

The export of jute and jute goods increased by 21.55% to $511.73 million from $421.02 million in the same period of last fiscal year.

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