POST TIME: 10 September, 2019 09:50:35 AM
Exports fall by 11.49pc

Exports fall by 11.49pc

Export earnings in the second month (August) of FY2019-20 fell by 11.49 per cent to USD 2.84 billion from USD 3.21 billion in the same month of the last fiscal year due to lower shipments of apparel items.  

According to the Export Promotion Bureau, export earnings from the readymade garments (RMG) sector in the first two months (July-August) of FY2019-20 fetched USD 5.71 billion, marking a fall of 0.33 per cent from USD 5.73 billion during the same period in FY 2018-19.    

Exporters said the fall in RMG exports could be attributed to the Eid vacation as most of the factories remained closed for at least seven days. Moreover, some of the factories were closed for 12 days, which affected the export performance, they added.     

However, they are hopeful that order quantities will pick up, particularly in the knit sector and for a knock-on effect of the US-China trade war.

“We invested around USD 4 billion in workplace safety and occupational health hazards. The depreciation of our currency against all other foreign currencies has also helped businesspersons, especially those who are associated with export business, to earn more money,” Faruque Hassan, former senior vice-president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers' and Exporters’ Association (BGMEA), told The Independent.

Faruque Hassan, managing director of Giant Apparels Ltd, said a total of 90 Bangladeshi RMG factories had received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and that such modernisation of the industry would boost foreign buyers’ confidence.

Woven products earned USD 2.79 billion in July-August of FY2019-20, marking a 0.94 per cent negative growth from USD2.82 billion during the same period in the previous fiscal year. The knitwear industry earned around USD 2.92 billion during the same time, up by 0.27 per cent from USD2.91 billion during the same period last year.

According to the EPB, for the first two months (July-August) of FY 2019-20, exports of agricultural commodities, such as tea, vegetables and tobacco, registered a negative growth of 24.36 per cent and fetched USD134.4 million.

EPB officials said the export of leather and leather products bounced back, with the sector registering a positive growth rate of 1.32 per cent.

EPB data shows that the growth rate of jute and jute goods exports has fallen drastically and reached a negative growth of 0.43 per cent. This sector earned USD 130.57 million in FY 2019-20 (July-August) compared to USD 131.14 million in FY 2018-19 (July-August).      

Industry experts say that India has slapped anti-dumping duty on jute sack cloth from Bangladesh, triggered by a spike in its import following the imposition of similar duty on sacks and products in 2017.

EPB data shows that the growth of furniture exports has decreased and reached a negative growth of 13.77 per cent. This sector earned USD 10.02 million in FY 2019-20 (July-August).

In the month of July export earnings registered 8.55 per cent growth, totalling USD 3.88 billion, compared to the same month in the previous fiscal year.

This also marked a strong rebound of higher shipments of apparel products and registered a growth of 9.7 per cent in the first month (July) of FY 2019-20.

According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), shipments of key readymade garments, comprising knitwear and woven items, amounted to USD 3.31 billion in (July) of FY2019-20, up by 9.7 per cent from the same period in FY2018-19.