RMG exports to US up 45.91% in first half of FY22

Exports to EU and non-traditional markets also rising

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Bangladesh's readymade garment (RMG) exports to the US — its single largest destination for apparel goods — have experienced a 45.91% strong comeback in the first half (July-December) of the 2021-22 fiscal year.

According to the country-wise RMG export data published by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), Bangladesh exported apparel worth $4.2 billion in the first six months of the current fiscal year.

Export earnings from the US were $2.9 billion in the same period of FY21, EPB data shows.

Bangladesh exported woven products worth $2.83 billion, fetching a growth of 39.97%, and knitwear of $1.54 billion, fetching a 57.48% growth.

Exports to the EU countries and non-traditional markets also grew by 23.83% and 24.26%, respectively, according to the EPB data.

Bangladesh exported RMG items worth $6.36 billion during the first 11 months of 2021, up $1.49 billion or 30.68% compared to $4.86 billion in the same period of 2020, according to Otexa, an affiliate of the US Department of Commerce.

Industry insiders said high demand for the locally produced RMG, especially knit items, and significant rise in prices of raw materials, helped exports grow both in terms of volume and value.

US buyers, who were very conservative in purchasing apparel items due to the pandemic, have increased orders to cater for their growing demands while many of them have shifted from China due to the trade tensions, and from Vietnam and India due to the Covid-19-led factory closure, they also said.

Shahidullah Azim, vice president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), said that Bangladeshi clothing has good potential in the American market. 

“The US has shifted orders from China due to the trade war, from Myanmar due to military rule, and from India due to a shaky Covid-19 situation — Bangladesh is receiving these orders,” he added.

He also said that if the spread of the Omicron variant does not have any negative effects, this upward trend of exports to the US market will continue.

“Some buyers are delaying to place purchase orders due to Omicron-related reasons, they said that they will monitor the situation for a few weeks and then place the orders,” he added.

Earlier, in a dialogue, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan stated that the US is one of the largest destinations for the country’s apparel items. 

“The BGMEA is focusing on development, the safety of workers, and protecting their jobs perfectly and are right in our place to continue the trade relation with the US,” he added.

Moreover, along with the US market, the export to major markets also had a strong comeback. 

The exports to the EU countries experienced a growth of 23.83% to $12 billion in the first six months of FY22, which was $9.7 billion in the same period of FY21.

The RMG export also experienced a growth of 23.78% to $602.82 million in the Canadian market in the first half of the current FY, which was $487.02 million in the same period of the last FY, EPB data shows.

In the market of the UK, Bangladeshi RMG item export grew by 20.65% to $2.14 billion during the July-December period of the current FY, which was $1.78 billion in the last FY.

The RMG export posted a significant growth in EU countries like Spain, Poland, Germany, and France.

The export to the non-traditional markets, countries including Australia, Brazil, Russia, China, South Africa etc, grew by 24.26% to $3.06 billion in the first half of FY22, which was $2.4 billion in the first half of FY21.

However, Bangladesh exported apparel items worth $110.39 million to China in FY22, fetching a 21.04% negative growth, which was $139.81 million in FY21.

In the first six months (July-December) of FY22, Bangladesh exported RMG items worth $19.9 billion, fetching a 28.02% year-on-year growth from $15.55 billion in FY21.

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