As the major brands and retailers in the EU and US are reopening, work order inflows are on the rise in Bangladesh apparel factories, though on a limited scale. As per the factory owners, the suppliers having large units receiving a handsome volume of work orders and hoping to achieve around 80 percent of their export target at the end of this year
The volume of fresh orders is less because there are already a huge amount of goods ready for shipment and buyers are reclaiming that or manufacturers are executing the old work order on buyers’ demand. Most of the factories are now running with 80 percent capacity as work orders are coming gradually.
Apparel suppliers of the country are hoping that the situation will further improve at the end of this year, as well as fearing sales decline in the EU and US for another wave of coronavirus pandemic. However, the country’s small and medium apparel companies are still suffering.
MA Jabbar, Managing Director of DBL Group, another leading garment exporter hoping to achieve nearly 80 percent of annual export target saying that up till august they have work in hand but September onward, the volume of confirmed work orders is reducing.
The German economy has been comparatively less affected by the virus till date and there is also a steady inflow of work orders to their factories even amid the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, suppliers shipping garments to Germany are in an advantageous position due to lower order cancellations in March, April, and May.
Fazlul Hoque, Managing Director of Plummy Fashions, a supplier to Germany, hopes to achieve 85 percent of the export target as the work order inflow is good so far and more than 50 percent of goods are already shipped to Germany.
According to Bakhtiar U Ahmed, Chief Operations Officer at Fakir Apparels, the number of new orders is now relatively low because buyers were reclaiming their old orders. Buyers also stated that they would not cancel any work orders but would take some time to pick up products already produced.
He further hopes that buyers will increase the number of new work orders once the old listing is sold. So at the end of this year, there will be about 10 percent fewer work orders than in the same period last year
Mahmud Hasan Khan Babu, Managing Director of Rising Group, said he can execute 85 percent of knitwear orders and use 60 percent of the capacity for woven because he has an adequate number of work orders for knitwear items but in case of woven items he needed to import fabrics, mainly from China.
On the other hand, medium and smaller size factories are struggling for new work orders from the buyers and also facing challenges in paying bank loans even.
However, they are also hoping that they would reopen their units from September this year as buyers are coming back. But overall the Bangladesh apparel industry still is in uncertainty.