In the July-August period, EPB data showed apparel exports fetched $5.73bn, up by 3.82% from the sum earned in July and August of last year
The Eid-ul-Azha vacation and a slowdown in the growth of the apparel business contributed to a fall in the country’s export earnings of almost 12% last month, Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data has revealed.
A contraction in demand for jute and jute goods, leather and leather goods, home textiles and fish are also being blamed for the 11.74% decline in total earnings in August to $3.21 billion.
“Last month, there was a long vacation on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, which caused less production and less shipments,” Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) vice president Mohammed Nasir told the Dhaka Tribune.
However, when July is also considered, the overall merchandise export earnings posted a moderate 2.51% rise to $6.8bn over the first two months of the current 2018-19 fiscal year.
The EPB vice-chairman, Bijoy Bhattacharjee, told the Dhaka Tribune that it was unfair to comment on the performance of a single month’s earnings.
“Export performance will not be similar every month as it depends on the trend of shipment of finished goods as well as work orders from buyers,” he said.
“There is nothing to be worried about. The overall performance still remains positive and will be better in the coming month.”
In the July-August period, EPB data showed apparel exports fetched $5.73bn, up by 3.82% from the sum earned in July and August of last year. Of this total, Knitwear products rose 1.53% to $2.91bn, while earnings from woven items were up 6.28% to $2.82bn.
During the same period, export earnings from the home textile sector fell by 4.53% to $134.35 million. But specialized textiles made a turnaround with a staggering growth of 23.77%, to $19.58 million.
Jute and jute good export earnings registered a sharp fall of 15.57% to $131 million against $155.31 million earned in the same period of last year.
According to Abdus Salam Murshedy, managing director of Envoy Textiles and the Exporters Association of Bangladesh (EAB) president, the country’s export earnings are mostly dependent on the apparel sector, which contributes over 83% of the total.
“As a result, the slower or negative growth in the sector badly hit the overall export earnings of the country,” he told the Dhaka Tribune.
“The government has to focus on creating balanced export basket with diversified products so that the over dependency on a single sector can be reduced.”