New work orders are coming to the Bangladesh apparel industry. Many factories have received enough orders to work until September. As a result, the apparel industry is slowly turning around.
The amount of purchases that are coming now is said to be good by the owners of the garment industry. At least eight factory owners said that 70-80 percent of the purchase orders are coming back compared to last time.
Garment exports have taken a turn in June as many big brands have resumed buying suspended and canceled orders. However, there is still some uncertainty as the risk of global COVID-19 infection has been reduced and no vaccine has been discovered.
Garment factories were closed for a month it exported only $370 million worth of clothing in April, the lowest in two decades. The next month, garments worth $1.23 billion were exported. In June, it rose to $2.25 billion. Even then, in the outgoing of the 2019-20 fiscal year, garment exports amounted to $27.95 billion, which is $6.17 billion less than the previous year.
The Pacific Jeans Group in Chittagong has exported about $400 million worth of garments in the 2019- 20 fiscal year. Their exports have not decreased or increased compared to the previous financial year.
Syed Mohammad Tanvir, Director of Pacific Jeans, said that their factory has 60-70 percent of the purchase order compared to the last time.
He said, there are purchases order till September. On condition of anonymity, an experienced entrepreneur said that he is not worried about the purchase order until September.
Like last time, there are purchase orders in the factory. The purchase orders have not decreased due to the COVID-19, rather he has received purchase orders from two new buyers. Another big company in the garment sector is Rising Group in Dhaka.
They export about $130 million in a year. Mahmud Hasan Khan, Managing Director of Rising Group, said that their buyers have started taking the canceled and suspended orders’ products. However, they had to pay a discount of USD 460,000 to one of their buyers.
Mahmud Hasan Khan added, “We were horrified when the purchase order was canceled and suspended at the beginning of the pandemic.”
The BGMEA, an association of garment industry owners, said that garments worth $970 million had been exported from July 1 to 12. Garments worth $119 million were exported during the same period last year. Envoy Group is another big exporter of garments in the country.
Abdus Salam Murshedy, former President of BGMEA, said that even though the big factories have received orders to survive, the small and medium factories are not getting the same. So they need at least two months of support for their workers’ wages.
Last month, BGMEA and BKMEA, two garment industry owners’ organizations, demanded fresh money for wages for July, August and September. According to BGMEA, a $316 million garment export order in Corona was initially canceled and suspended. Of these, Primark canceled and suspended $38.91 million, Inditex $1.02 million, Bestseller $978669, Mothercare $660307, Kohls $636724, Gap $448065, Jesse Penny 412692, Walmart $224032, Debenhams $212241 and Ralph Lauren $117912 (the amount is estimated).