In the fiscal year 2018-19, T-shirt was the top export item among basic garments, according to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) data. Bangladesh fetched $7.01 billion from T-shirt export in the FY19.
Thanks to the ongoing trade war between the US and China as buyers are shifting orders from China to Bangladesh.
Also, the value-addition by the manufacturers – like using of manmade fibers, embroidery, designed yarn, washing, printing and other accessories to T-shirts –helped them to secure more orders.
The industry experts opined that it is a positive sign for the country’s top foreign currency earning sector. As the value addition is working fine.
The data from BGMEA showed, trousers, once the top earner, earned US$6.93 billion, jacket US$4.38 billion, sweater US$4.25 billion and shirt US$2.32 billion in the FY19.
Engr Mohammad Mezbah Uddin, Executive Director of T&M Sourcing said, “T-shirts export is increasing as diversified T-shirt is being produced by our manufacturers. They are making value added T-shirts using latest printing technology like functional T-shirt, reflective T-shirt, perfume T-shirt etc.”
Washing is the latest phenomenon taking place in local RMG manufacturing and also bringing high value, which helps get better price but it is now used in T-shirt manufacturing.
However, per unit price of a T-shirt hasn’t increased much in contrast to the value-addition.
“Mainly our negotiation skill is so poor, we cannot make a win win situation negotiating with buyers. Another point I want to mention that our production cost is increasing rapidly, which is one of the major reasons behind our low profit margin,” said Mezbah Uddin.