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Dhaka Tribune

RMG exports to US, Germany decline further

However, Bangladesh witnessed a moderate positive growth of 14.04% by exporting items worth $3.84 billion to the UK, the third largest destination

Update : 16 Apr 2023, 05:39 PM

Apparel exports from Bangladesh saw negative growth from its largest and second largest single destinations -- the United States (US) and Germany in the July-March period of the ongoing FY23.

According to the country-wise detailed data published by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) and compiled by the BGMEA, Bangladeshi manufacturers shipped apparel items worth $6.25 billion to the US -– the single largest export destination -– fetching a negative growth of 5.01% from $6.58 billion in the same period of the last fiscal year. 

In the July-March period of FY23, they delivered RMG items worth $5.14 billion to Germany, the second-largest single export market, witnessing a negative growth of 4.16% from $5.37 billion in the same period the previous fiscal.

However, Bangladesh witnessed a moderate positive growth of 14.04% by exporting apparel items worth $3.84 billion to the UK, the third largest destination, higher from $3.37 billion in the same period of the last FY, EPB data said.

Apparel exports to other major destinations such as Spain, France, Italy and the Netherlands increased by 18.82% to $2.69 billion, 25.23% to $2.14 billion, 50.4% to $1.7 billion and 28.18% to $1.38 billion respectively.

Apparel exports to the overall European Union (EU) soared by 11.78% to $17.61 billion from $15.75 billion in the same period of FY22.

Exports to Canada reached $1.08 billion, fetching a YoY growth of 17.68% from $925.98 million in the same period of last FY.

Apparel export to non-traditional markets reached $6.44 billion with a 34.74% YoY growth from $4.78 billion in the same period of the last FY22.

Japan, Australia, Russia, India, China, South Korea, UAE, Malaysia, Brazil, Mexico and some other countries are known as non-traditional markets.

Among the major destinations of the non-traditional markets, exports to Japan reached $1.22 billion, with a YoY growth of 43.79% from $849.64 million in the last fiscal year.

Bangladesh earned $830.51 million from India between July and March of FY22-23, a 58.38% increase from $524.39 million during the same period the previous fiscal year.

According to EPB data, non-traditional market exports to Australia, South Korea and Mexico climbed by 42.22% to $889.88 million, 34.69% to $449.55 million and 38.53% to $263.74 million, respectively.

Talking to Dhaka Tribune, Shahidullah Azim, vice-president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), said that the growth in apparel shipment was based on value. 

As raw materials were costly, it was not a quantity growth, he added.

He also said that the situation between the EU and the US is not so good and they aren't seeing any positive signs in the coming three or four months. 

However, the situation may improve after June or July.

“There are not enough work orders and the majority of exporters are running their units at 60%-70% capacity,” he said, adding that most of the factories shut their operations at 4:00pm every day.  

BGMEA Director Mohiuddin Rubel said that there is an economic turmoil in the world which impacted the purchasing capacity of the buyers.

“The markets where we have grown are largely value based. Growth is due to increase in raw material prices, our CM is not increasing. However, still in some cases, our exports are growing. It is a big fact,” he added.

He also said that they have to fight to survive in this world market by taking required measures.

“BGMEA is working to facilitate the exploration of new markets, as well as we are working on policy reforms to facilitate and simplify business. Our efforts will be continued to explore new opportunities. Bangladesh is the safest and sustainable sourcing hub,” he added. 

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