Apparel exports flicker into life

Apparel exports flicker into life
Refayet Ullah Mirdha

Apparel exports grew 18.38 percent in March, compared to the same period a year ago, data from Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) shows.

Exports are breaking free from the negative trend with a rebound in apparel exports.

Overall exports in the July-March period declined only 0.8 percent from the same period last year.

The single month export for apparels in February was 8 percent.

“In March, the export of knitwear grew by 15 percent and woven items by 13 percent from the same period a year ago,” said Fazlul Hoque, president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA).

The price hike of yarn in local and international markets will hurt growth of such exports although quick implementation of the government’s second stimulus package for the sector will help offset the crisis slightly, Hoque said.

The concern for Bangladesh is, knitwear exports out of Pakistan grew by 20 percent, and the figure was more than 15 percent in Vietnam as orders from China were diverted to different other countries, he added.

The EPB data shows exports in March 2009-10 were worth $1.52 billion, up from $1.28 billion in the same month last year, registering 2.28 percent growth.

In the first nine months of 2009-10, Bangladesh exported goods worth $11.541 billion, compared to $11.634 billion in the same period last fiscal year.

The single month export of apparels rose substantially but meeting targets may still not be possible. Knitwear exports were 3.64 percent behind the target and woven products fell 3.04 percent short of expectations in the July-March period, said Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

“The sudden price hike of raw cotton and yarn will definitely be a threat to achieving the target, as manufacturers will not be able to supply the garment items at cheaper rates to Europe and the US,” Murshedy said

He said the nagging power and gas situation affected the sector badly.


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