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Bangladesh RMG export declines for 3rd month due to COVID-19

Bangladesh readymade garments (RMG) export declined by more than 62% in May 2020 compared with the same period last year. For the recent coronavirus pandemic in most countries across the globe, the demand and prices of apparel products decreased in the global market.

Bangladesh-RMG-export-declines-May-2020
Figure: According to the exporters country’s RMG sector is struggling as both the demand and prices of apparel products decreased in the global market due to coronavirus pandemic. 

In May 2019 the export earnings from the apparel sector were $2.81 billion, which is $1.07 billion in 2020. Also RMG export receipts over 85% fall to $374.67 million in April 2020 from $2.53 billion in April 2019, according to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

The export declined by 30.19% in March 2020 when coronavirus was first detected in the country to $1.97 billion from $2.82 billion in the same month of last year.

Bangladesh-garment-export-drop-May-2020

According to the exporters country’s RMG sector is struggling as both the demand and prices of apparel products decreased in the global market due to coronavirus pandemic. They are also suspecting that RMG export might fell to $5 billion with possibly $2 billion unsettled liability for the country’s clothing sector in March-May of 2020.

BGMEA President Rubana Huq opined that COVID-19 has changed the global business face and has taken it to a point of uncertainty. To explain the reality she also said that all the export declined by 62% in May while the lowest decline in the last 5 years was 14% during the July-April period.

All export markets experienced fall between 8% and 22% and unit value decreased by 0.90% from the U.S and 1.87% from the European Union during the pandemic, Rubana Huq added.

‘Most factories were closed in April and gradually reopened from April 26 but could not utilize full of their capacity for opening partially with fewer workers, so the units could not ready their goods for export.

All the export markets experienced fall between 8 percent and 22 percent and unit value decreased by 0.90 percent from the US and 1.87 percent from the European Union during the pandemic.

Citing a study conducted by McKinsey, Rubana Huq said that COVID-19 would wipe off $297 billion from the global apparel value in 2020.

Moreover, buyers were also reopening gradually and were not receiving ready goods.’ Fazlee Shamim Ehsan, a Director of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) opined regarding this issue.

He expected that the growth trend might be better in July and August while it will be the same in June also.

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