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RMG export of August shows positive signs

Bangladesh’s readymade garment (RMG) export is gaining momentum amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Though the overall apparel export has not performed like last fiscal year, but the apparel industry is showing resilience and it is bouncing back strongly. According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, earnings from Bangladesh RMG export for the just-completed month August 2020-21 is US$5.712 billion. Which is 0.06% less – US$5.716 billion – compared to the same period last year.

apparel
Figure 1: Bangladesh’s readymade garment (RMG) export is gaining momentum amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Though Bangladesh’s main strength, the knitwear sector witnessed a 6.64% growth in August. The sector earned US$3.114 billion which was $2.920 billion in July-Aug 2019-20.

At the same time, woven products export down by 7.06%. Which exported US$2.59 billion woven products. in July-August 2019-20, the woven sector fetched US$2.79 billion.

In this new normal situation amid COVID-19, the data shows the apparel industry of Bangladesh is bouncing back strongly.

BD-RMG-export-July-August-2020-2021
Figure 2: Bangladesh’s RMG export comparison of July-August FY 2020-2021 with July-August FY 2019-2020.

The Coronavirus outbreak has created an interruption in the global fashion apparel demand causing a drop in apparel prices and markets shrink. The adverse impact is harshly impacted by the apparel manufacturing countries worldwide.

Apparel industry leaders expressed optimism with this progress.

Fazlul Hoque, former President at the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) said, “A portion of canceled orders was possibly shipped in August with new order placement not being much higher. We are delighted with the sector returning to a positive trend.”

“If this positive export trend lasts in the next two months, we may say that apparel export earnings will be sustainable,” added Hoque.

Fazlee Shamim Ehsan, Chief Executive Officer at Fatullah Apparels Ltd said, “Currently, buyers and retailers are now placing new orders for the upcoming winter as most western stores have no stock of winter apparels”.

Also, the upcoming Christmas celebrations and shipments for next winter and spring may bring good news in the coming days for Bangladesh’s apparel export industry.

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