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'Rise in export earnings was expected'

  • Published at 03:14 pm September 5th, 2021
Chittagong port import export trade
File photo of Chittagong PortDhaka Tribune

Exporters say about August rebound

Exporters of the country said that the rebound in export receipts for August in the current fiscal year was anticipated.

Exports had suffered a setback in July, the first month of the current financial year 2021-22. But it returned to positive growth the next month, banking on the support of the apparel sector.

According to the recent data of the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), export earnings saw a 14% growth year-on-year in August of this year, following a more than 11% slump just a month ago.

Bangladesh earned $3.38 billion, backed by the apparel shipments, in the second month of FY22, which was $2.97 billion in the August of the last financial year, according to the EPB data.

However, export earnings declined 0.31% year-on-year in July and August combined, which was $6.87 billion in the same period of the last year, and $6.85 billion in the current fiscal.

Shahidullah Azim, vice-president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), said that there was a backlog due to Eid, lockdowns and port issues in July, so a number of products were unshipped.

Also Read - Bangladesh's exports rise 14% in August to $3.38 billion

“That's why exports increased last month. But our hope is that there will be growth in the coming months. Exports will increase further in November-December,” he added.

He also said that, however, exports are still 1.27% lower year-on-year in July-August combined. This was mainly due to the 11% negative growth of exports in July which has also affected the exports of August.

“We have plenty of purchase orders from our buyers as their stores are fully operational after mass vaccination. So, exports will increase significantly in the coming months,” he added.

He also said that, unofficially, Bangladesh has already gotten back the 2nd place by overtaking Vietnam again and it will be announced officially soon.

Exporters also said that major export sectors of the country have experienced a rise in the export in August and it is a positive vibe for them.

Mohammad Hatem, vice-president of the BKMEA, said that more than 17% growth in knitwear exports is certainly expected and desirable.

“We expect export earnings to be 20-25% in the coming months. Demand for this specialty has grown significantly as a result of the return of normalcy in Europe and the Americas. The sector is getting more purchase orders,” he added.

He also said that they are not able to take adequate orders due to the instability of yarn prices. The price of yarn in Bangladesh is much higher than any other country, like India, Pakistan.

Sources from Bangladesh Tanners Association said the leather and leather goods registered a positive growth in the last month and it is good news for them. The stores in Europe and America are being opened on a large scale after the mass vaccinations during the pandemic, so the demand is increasing significantly.

However, Moniruzzaman Mridha, vice-president of the Bangladesh Jute Spinners Association (BJSA), said that the jute industry has been lagging behind for a long time due to the pandemic.

“Illegal stockpiling of jute should be stopped. Many unlicensed people are entering the industry despite not having industrial knowledge, they need to be controlled,” he added. 

He also said that steps should be taken to boost domestic consumption by implementing the governmental instructions of using jute bags for packaging.

The EPB data said that all major sectors such as agriculture products, leather and leather products, home textiles, frozen and fresh fish, engineering products, pharmaceuticals, specialized textiles, plastic products have recorded positive growth except jute and jute goods.

Apparel sector, bearer of more than 82% of the export earnings, fetched an 11.56% growth year-on-year last month with exports worth $2.75 billion, up from $2.46 billion in the same month last year.

But shipments of the apparel sector slightly dipped by 1.27% year-on-year to $5.64 billion in July and August combined in 2021, which was $5.71 billion in the same period of the last year, said the EPB data.

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