The US has imported more than $7.55 billion worth of apparel from Bangladesh in the first nine months of this year (January-September). Imports increased by 50.97 percent. Office of Textiles and Apparels (OTEXA) under the US Department of Commerce has published the statistics recently. At the same time last year, the US imported apparel worth of $5.00 billion.
On a month-on-month basis, apparel exports to the US rose 34.63 percent in September’22 compared to September’21. Bangladesh earned $912.90 million from apparel exports last September, up from $678.08 million in September’21, according to OTEXA data.
As a single market, the US is the largest destination for garments made in Bangladesh. According to the RMG sector officials, garment retail sales increased more than usual in the USA, mainly due to the recovery from the pandemic and increased consumer shopping. Earlier, Bangladesh’s apparel export to the USA achieved a landmark achievement in March 2022 – for the first time ever country’s apparel export crossed $1 billion in the USA.
However, it remains to be seen how long this upward trend in growth will last in the fourth quarter of this year due to inflation and economic slowdown. Demand for winter clothing is also relatively low due to unusually long summers.
BGMEA officials say that Bangladesh’s total garment exports maintained a significant growth rate till September. As a result, US imports from Bangladesh maintained a positive trend till September. But with the negative impact on retail sales due to economic volatility, buyers are now cautious.
BGMEA Vice President Shahidullah Azim said that the US is the single largest market for Bangladeshi-made garments. Export growth in the country is still continuing. But our monthly garment export figure is not very good.
He said, exports fell in August after July and fell further in September. However, growth in October was lower than expected. There is a fear that exports will decrease further in the coming days. We have already announced this forecast.
The growth we had in the past few days was due to previous purchase orders. But now the purchase order has decreased by 20-30 percent, he added.