Bangladesh’s cotton import growth signifies that the apparel sector is growing. The local cotton import raised by about 9% to 75 lakh bales in the 2019-20 marketing year (MY) – the cotton marketing year begins in August and ends in July and one bale equals to 480 pounds – in spite of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, said a data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
US cotton exports to Bangladesh in MY2019-20 reached 1.06 lakh bales, up 28.9% from MY2018-19. The US cotton market share was approximately 14% in MY2019-20, which is second to India’s 23% market share.
USDA report also said, for MY2020-21, cotton imports will marginally decline to 71 lakh bales amid the insecurity in global demand and comparatively low import in the first months of the year.
Monsoor Ahmed, Secretary to the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA) said, “Cotton imports continued even amid the ongoing crisis since many consignments were signed earlier but imported later.”
Sales in the textile backward sector disturbed during the COVID-19 outbreak in April-May but when the markets reopened, the sales started to grow again.
This was specially the case for the weavers and spinners that serve local markets, Monsoor Ahmed added.
The ongoing pandemic has disrupted Bangladesh’s textile and apparel industry, resulting in a sharp decline in the sector’s exports to major markets, including the US and EU. Preliminary data from the Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau shows that the export value of apparel in the first 10 months of 2020 dropped 19 per cent year-on-year to $22.4 billion.
Though, this decay was lesser than the prediction made by the industry experts in May 2020 as Bangladesh’s achievement in combating COVID-19 has permitted factories to continue operations despite a few short-term disruptions.