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Dhaka Tribune

RMG exports rise in top markets in the first two months of FY23

Bangladesh exported apparel items worth $1.41 billion to the US fetching a YoY growth of 20.52%

Update : 17 Sep 2022, 08:57 PM

The export of apparel items marked significant gains in the top destinations – both in traditional and nontraditional markets in the first two months (July and August) of the current fiscal year (FY2022-23), said the recently published country-wise detailed apparel export data of the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).

In the mentioned period Bangladesh exported apparel items worth $1.41 billion to the US, the largest single export destination for Bangladesh, fetching a year-on-year growth of 20.52%, from $1.17 billion of the same period of the last FY (July-August of FY22).

Bangladesh exported garments worth $1.06 billion to Germany, the second largest single export destination, registering a YoY growth of 16.44% from $910.97 million in July-August of FY22.

During this period, registering a 35.64% YoY growth, Bangladesh exported apparel goods worth $819.86 million to the UK, the third highest destination for the country's RMG products, up from last year’s $604.45 million, EPB data said.

The apparel export to the other major destinations such as Spain, France, Netherland, Italy and Poland also registered positive growth by 24.52% to $574.7 million, by 37.73% to $370.8 million, by 51.99% to $297.93 million, by 19.46% to $256.26, and by 3.39% to $231.85 million, respectively. 

During the mentioned period, the apparel export to the overall EU market soared by 23.41% to $3.44 billion from $2.79 billion in the same period of the last fiscal year. 

During July-August of FY2022-23, exports to Canada reached $227.03 million fetching a YoY growth of 18.49% from $191.61 million in the same two months of the last fiscal year, EPB data showed.

In the context of Bangladesh's key export destinations, Japan, Australia, Russia, India, China, South Korea, UAE, Malaysia, Brazil, Mexico and some other countries are known as non-traditional markets.

The apparel export to the non-traditional markets reached $1.20 billion with 37.9% year-over-year growth, from $874.47 million in the last FY.

Among the major destinations of the non-traditional markets, exports to Japan reached $217.53 million, with a YoY growth of 25.81% from $172.91 million in the last fiscal year.

From India, Bangladesh bagged $188.29 million in the first two months of FY22-23, registering a growth of 98.92% from $94.66 million in July-August of the last fiscal year.

Among the major destinations of the non-traditional markets, export to Australia, South Korea, and Mexico increased by 30.9% to $150.4 million, by 69.64% to $98.86 million, and by 64.24% to $63.37 million, respectively, said the EPB data.

In the first two months of the fiscal year, the overall apparel export of Bangladesh was $7.11 billion, fetching a growth of 26.1%, from $5.64 billion in July-August of FY22.

Talking to Dhaka Tribune, Mohiuddin Rubel, director of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), said that though exports have been growing, the indicators and estimates suggest that growth may cease in the coming months due to global economic turmoil and inflation. 

“A number of global brands are suffering from a decline in sales and unsold stock, so they have stopped current orders and production at our end,” he added, saying that the industry is bracing for a difficult time ahead.

In this regard, the policy support from the government (as always) can help Bangladesh to navigate this situation.


Are the current nontraditional markets the future?

RMG insiders said that Bangladesh’s export earnings from new markets are increasing rapidly and their plan is to make the Asian market like that of the EU or US.

Already, exports to Japan, India and Korea have gradually increased, however, Russia was an emerging market but exports seem to decrease due to the war. 

The BGMEA is preparing a roadmap to export $100 billion worth of garment items by 2030 and capture 10% of the global market by 2025, riding on exploring new markets in Asia, East Asia, and the Middle East.

Shahidullah Azim, vice–president of the BGMEA, told Dhaka Tribune that they should not only depend on the European or North American market, rather they need to find new markets.

“East Asia, Middle East, India etc are big markets for apparel items and the impact of the geopolitical crisis is also lower there,” Azim said, adding that they have to enter these markets and growth must be maintained at any cost.

Mohiuddin Rubel said that productivity and efficiency are major concerns as average productivity in Bangladesh is around 45% lower than in Vietnam and Turkey.

“We need to overcome the vulnerabilities like product and market overconcentration, absence in the niche market, improvement of backward linkage industries,” he added.


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