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Knit sector gains a great momentum in 2018

The government should come forward to facilitate necessary support to resolve the remaining challenges and utilize the opportunities as the sector can boost further

The global knitting industry is growing at a fast rate as the popularity of knitting has grown tremendously in recent years. The increased versatility of techniques, the adaptability of many new man-made fibers and the rising in consumer demand for the greatly expanding areas of sportswear, other casual wear are driving the growth.

BD Knit sector 2018 momentum
Figure 1: In 2018 (calendar year), Bangladesh knit sector saw great growth.

Bangladesh knit sector is one of the largest knit garments manufacturing industry in the world considering both capabilities and competitiveness. The sector is producing top quality knit garments at the lowest cost. Bangladesh has been a heaven for producing knit garments for global brands who are always getting the best deal here, taking out the best quality out of the lowest possible money.

Bangladesh knitwear export scenario

There are a total of 4560 garments factories in Bangladesh exporting apparel products in the global market, of them about 2500 are knit garment factories.

Read More: Bangladesh’s apparel export trend of 2018

With almost all major retailers, Bangladesh has a significant market share in cotton & cotton-rich knit products for the last 16 years. World’s leading brands are sourcing knit garments from Bangladesh like H&M, Walmart, C&A, Zara etc.

Top brands importing knit products Bangladesh
Source: BKMEA

Bangladesh exports numerous popular knit items to the global market. Recently Bangladeshi knit manufacturers have concentrated on making value-added items to sustain strongly in the global arena.

Bangladesh major knit export items
Source: BKMEA

In 2018 (calendar year), Bangladesh knit sector saw great growth. Economists and business leaders opined that calmness in the country’s political arena, the US-China trade war, and improvement in safety conditions in the ready-made garment factories were main reasons behind the increase of knit export.

Figure 2: Month-wise export value of knit products in 2018.

Month

Knit exports in 2018 (billion US $)

January

1.31

February

1.21

March

1.19

April

1.21

May

1.39

June

1.24

July

1.52

August

1.38

September

1.29

October

1.66

November

1.43

December

1.34

Figure 2 is showing that each month of 2018, the sector has earned an average amount where in October knitwear exports has seen the biggest growth to 1.66 billion USD.

Bangladesh knitwear export trends 2014-2018

According to figure 3, knitwear export has increased by 11.76% to 16.24 billion USD in 2018 compared to last calendar year that was 14.30 billion USD in 2017. Knitwear export earnings of 2018 is 1.71 billion USD higher than the previous year.

Major sourcing countries

Bangladesh exports knit items to almost 50 countries where the European Union (EU) and the USA are the main destinations. According to BGMEA data, in 2018, Bangladesh knit sector exports 11.61 billion USD in EU and 1.43 billion USD in the USA. In the non-traditional market, knit sector exports 2.72 million USD.

export destinations Bangladesh knit products

Challenges of the knit sector

According to sector people, the knit sector is facing the below challenges:

  • Lack of design input, innovation
  • Lack of product variety
  • Productivity challenge
  • Fast fashions pressure
  • Poor infrastructure
  • Unstable power supply
  • Higher bank interest
  • Unplanned capacity expansion
  • Production cost increase

Opportunities of the knit sector

There are huge opportunities for the knit sector, some are mentioned below:

  • Competitive labor cost
  • Robust backward linkage
  • State-of-the-art facilities
  • GSP facility (other than the USA)
  • Increase market share by entering to the untapped product group
  • Increase business by entering to the untapped market
  • Overtake extra business from China

Thousands of factories of Bangladesh are producing basic knit products. The price of basic products is going down drastically. On the other hand, wages have been increased by 51% that is a great reason behind the rise of production cost. Standing in the situation, factories should invest to increase the capability of doing value-added products. It is not practical to increase the market share further on those basic product lines since the demand for value-added products has been increased.

Also Read: Challenges of Bangladesh knit sector and the way out

Now the knit manufacturers need to identify the products where they have a poor market share and they need to develop efficient know how.

In fine, Bangladesh has already proved that it is capable to fulfill the global demand for quality knit garments, however, to sustain in the global arena for a long time, we need to identify challenges and scopes appropriately. The government should come forward to facilitate the necessary support to resolve the mentioned challenges and utilize the remaining opportunities. Also, we have to increase our knowledge level and we have to reduce dependence on basic products. We have to increase production of value-added products to cater the global buyers and get fair prices.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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