Export earnings cross $16 billion in nine months

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Export earnings cross $16 billion in nine months
Special Correspondent

Exports grew by 40.31 percent in nine months of the current fiscal year, compared to the same period a year ago, the commerce ministry said on Wednesday.

A report of the Export Promotion Bureau shows the country exported goods worth $16,207 million during July-March of the current 2010-11 fiscal, up from $11,551 million in the same period of 2009-10.

The government data shows that in March alone, exports grew by 40.56 percent, compared to the same month of the previous year, to $2.14 billion.

Shipment of major items including knitwear, woven or cut and sew garments, jute and jute goods, home textiles, frozen food, shrimp and leather goods increased significantly during the July-March period.

The knitwear sector earned $6.6 billion, which is a 44.36 percent rise from the same period in the previous year while woven garment exports grew to $6 billion, up 37.76 percent compared to the same period last year.

‘As unit price of apparels and textiles remain high due to costlier yarns and fabrics, export earnings for apparels and textiles kept increasing in recent months, compared to that of the corresponding period of last year,’ said Faruque Hassan, vice president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

Readymade garments consist 80 percent of the entire export earnings while home textiles and other non-apparel textile products earned around 6 percent.

‘Export orders from foreign buyers still remain high to but due to infrastructure problem and shortage of skilled workers further growth potential will remain uncultivated,’ he said.

Jute and jute goods export rose to $837 million in July-March 2010-11, growing 44 percent year-on-year, home textile exports rose to $555 million, growing 98 percent, frozen foods to $471 million, up 57 percent and footwear export grew by 50 percent to $222 million.

Despite most major items showed significant rise in shipments, some items suffered negative growths in exports. Among such significant export items, export earning from terry towels declined by 7.39 percent to $94 million, bicycle 10.23 percent to $72 million and tea 56 percent to $2.31 million.

EPB had set an export target to earn $18.5 billion for the current fiscal year, which is 14.16 percent more than the actual earnings last year. But export sector insiders predict that earnings would be around $22 billion by the end of this fiscal.

During 2009-10, the total export earnings were $16.2 billion against a target of $17.6 billion but real earnings was 4.11 percent higher than the earnings of 2008-2009 fiscal year.

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