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Knitwear export shows positive sign for BD apparel millers

Bangladesh’s knitwear export earned $7.13 billion in the period of July to November of the current FY, registering a 4.8% year-on-year growth. A published data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) showed that.

Experts opined that the demand for knitwear products increased due to extensive stay at home, which triggered orders and sales of sweaters.

Bangladesh-knitwear-export-growing-November
Figure 1: November export receipts highest in four months.

“One of the reasons why knitwear could have retained some growth is the demand for clothing for home use and the peak season of sweaters that ended in September. The clear consequence of the resurgence of the virus is visible in global retail sales,” said Rubana Huq, President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

Simultaneously, Bangladesh’s readymade garment (RMG) export has been bouncing back as the grim year of 2020 almost coming to an end. The RMG sector earned US$ 2.45 billion in November. Although November’s receipts are 8.2% less of the monthly target of $3.35 billion, still the export earnings in the month are the highest in the August-November period.

Official data also showed that, from July to November of this year, the sector earned $12.89 billion with a 1.48% growth rate.

Bangladesh-Garment-exports-July-November-2020
Figure 2: Bangladesh garment exports from July to November 2020

EPB data also showed that woven items got $5.75 billion, which is 8.29% decline.

“The typical decline of garment export was recorded 1.48% in the first 5 months of the current fiscal year, with the shipment of woven garments the hardest hit,” said Rubana Huq, President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

As in November, the export of woven garments fell 10.48%, the 16th consecutive month of decline. The knitwear export grew by 4.97%.

Apparel sales in Europe and the USA fell 13% in October, which was already having a downward trend since March.

“Such a trend in retail is alarming for the RMG manufacturing industry,” Rubana Huq said.

Huq said the effect of the slow demand on apparel export price is obvious from the data of the National Board of Revenue. In November, RMG price saw a negative growth of 5.19%.

At the same time, home textile exports grew pointedly during the COVID-19 pandemic because of the increase in the use of hospital bed sheets, medical gowns and curtains, especially in the countries that have been severely hit by the rogue pathogen.

Subsequently, the recovery from the COVID-19 may take longer than expected, the apparel industry needs continuity of the supports in the upcoming days along with additional support to stay afloat and withstand any adverse impact, she said.

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