Export performance of non-RMG in first quarter better
Jasim Uddin Haroon
Non-readymade garment (non-RMG) goods and products, dominated the county’s export sector, in terms of growth, during the first quarter of the current fiscal over that of the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.
The clothing sector, which has been reigning the export sector for more than two decades, grew by 21.2 per cent during the first quarter of the current fiscal while non-RMG sectors — jute and leather included — grew by 27.6 per cent, according to official data released by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).
The official data also showed the growth of knit sub-sector at 18.3 per cent and that of woven at 24.8 per cent in the first quarter.
On the other hand, export of raw jute grew by 18.7 per cent and that of leather by 20 per cent. The export of other non-RMG goods also registered a double-digit growth.
Garment manufacturers said export fall in the major markets is the main reason behind the gloomy situation of the RMG.
Anwar Alam Chowdhury Parvez, managing director of Evince Group, told the FE that the RMG exports had fallen nearly 1.0 per cent during the first quarter in the country’s second largest apparel market — the United States of America.
“RMG export particularly in September was very bad in the USA,” he added.
“We’re getting poor buy-orders from many countries belonging to the EU economic bloc as well,” Mr Anwar, also a former chief of BGMEA, said.
Selim Osman, BKMEA president, said Bangladesh’s knit export has been falling due to rise in the prices of yarn.
“Prices of our finished products have increased due to rise in the prices of yarn leading to fall in demands in the overseas market,” he added.
Mr Anwar said imposition of countervailing duty by Turkey is also an important reason behind comparatively poor performance by the RMG sector.
Turkey, the fourth largest export destination of Bangladesh, has imposed 17 per cent countervailing duty on imports from the LDCs (least developed countries).
Industry people of non-RMG sector said many buyers now are opting for cheaper items following debt crisis in the 27-member European bloc.
They also said demand for environment-friendly goods is also on the rise across the globe.
Kamran Uddin, president of Bangladesh Jute Goods Association, said the demand for jute and jute goods has risen in recent years following increasing awareness about the usage of environment-friendly goods.
He said the prices of both raw jute and jute products recorded sharp rise during the past few years.
Saiful Islam, managing director of a leading leather goods exporting company, said Bangladesh’s products still remained competitive in the global market. “We’re competitive and our quality is better, for this we’re doing well.”
He, however, said the demand for leather goods has now declined following economic crisis in the EU.
“The orders from Germany and France are good but from other countries of the EU remained comparatively slow,” Mr Saiful added.