• Saturday, Oct 24, 2020
  • Last Update : 11:54 pm

Exports slump 10.7% in November

  • Published at 11:09 pm December 5th, 2019
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Photo: Bigstock

The fall is largely driven by a negative growth in the apparel business, which contributes to over 84% of total export earnings

The country’s export earnings have declined by 10.70% to $3.05 billion for the fourth consecutive month in November compared with the corresponding period of last year.

The fall is largely driven by a negative growth in the apparel business, which contributes to over 84% of total export earnings.

According to Export Promotion Bureau data, Bangladesh earned $3.05 billion in November, down by 10.70%, which was $3.42 billion in the same month last year.

In October, the exports earning saw a 17.19% decline to $3.07 billion.

Export earning was $2.92 billion in September, down by 7.3% compared to the same month last year while in August, the country earned $2.84 billion from merchandising export , down by 11.49% compared to the same month a year ago. 

According to the EPB data released on Thursday, the country  earned $15.78 billion during July-November period of the current fiscal, which is 7.59% less compared to $17.07 billion bagged in the same period a year ago.

The apparel sector, which accounts for 84% of total exports, witnessed a 7.74% decline to $13.08 billion in the first four months of the current fiscal year, which was $14.18 billion in the same period last year.

As per the data, knitwear products earned $6.8 billion, down by 6.79%, which was $7.30 billion the previous year.

Woven goods fetched $6.28 billion, posting an 8.74% fall against $6.88 billion logged in the same period last year.

The downtrend in exports earnings continued as we did not take effective measures in preventing the fall and  grabbed enough  work orders, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturer and Exporters Association first Vice President Mohammad Hatem told Dhaka Tribune.

The trend of getting work orders increased in recent times but was not significant enough as we had not been competitive in prices for months, said Hatem.

On top of that, the government did not take quick measures to help us in improving price competitiveness. We repeatedly urged the government to offer special exchange rate facility against exports, but it did not happen, said Haten.

If the present situation persists , Bangladesh would lose its competitive edge in the global market and the manufacturers would lose the buyers, he apprehended.

 To overcome the dull day, the government had to cut gas and electricity rates for the apparel sector and offered special exchange rate, he suggested. 

"The competitiveness of the industry is really under stress. We are not aligned at all with global competitive scenario, particularly the exchange rate movement of Taka against the competitors’ currencies remain inconsistent," Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association President Rubana Huq told the Dhaka Tribune..

On the other hand, the shutting down of scores of factories over the recent months (especially after the minimum wage hike in December last year)  was taking its toll on the country’s exports and industry, said the business leader.

Therefore, it was a high time for the government to take a few quick steps to recourse the growth curve. A few recommendations on the quick fixes were exchange rate premium on the local retention of the RMG export and untangling the complexities in cash incentive, maintained  Rubana.

While the country made such a huge stride in safety and sustainability of the industry, and  the apparel makers were  making outstanding steps in green industrialization, such shift in the sourcing pattern of global brands  had been leaving a question to our sustainability initiatives, she exclaimed.

Meanwhile, the latest data from the official source of USA and EU show that the country is significantly lagging behind its  competitors  in terms of growth during the third quarter of 2019.

During this period Bangladesh registered 1.70% growth in USA whereas Vietnam grew by 14.23%, India 3.93%, Cambodia 15.56% and Pakistan 6.58%. 

On the other hand, the picture in Europe is not much different as Bangladesh has seen only 0.90% growth during the mentioned quarter, where the growth of Turkey was 2.98%, Vietnam 2.88% and Sri Lanka 6.17%.

Exports performance of major sectors

The export earnings from leather and leather goods in July-November of FY20 fell by 10.03% to $391.09 million from $434.7 million in the same period of the last fiscal year.

Export earnings from leather-footwear in the first five months of the FY20 fell by 12.91% to $230.16 million while other leather products fetched $104.63 million with an 11.10% growth in the period.

The export earnings from jute and jute goods in the July-November of FY20, however,  grew by 15.16% to $404.79 million from $351.50 million in the same period of  FY19.

Export earnings from home textile in the first five-month period of FY20, declined by 12.34% to $298.65 million from $340.7o million in the same period of FY19.

The export earnings from agricultural products in the five months of FY20 fell by 2.69% to $446.32 million from $446.32 million in the same period of FY19.

The frozen and live fish export revenue decreased by 7.62% to $235.11 million while the earnings from shrimp export fell by 5.70% to $178.67 million in the first five months of FY20.

Export of engineering products in the first five months of FY20 fell by 1.80% to $142.37 million from $144.98 million in the same period of the last fiscal year.

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