Exports back on track, eye on global crisis

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=210195

Exports back on track, eye on global crisis

Refayet Ullah Mirdha

Exports grew by 35.41 percent to $1.95 billion in October compared to the previous month, riding on the performances of the apparel sector, the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) said yesterday.

Exports increased 20.79 percent to $8.11 billion in the July-October period, the first four months of the current fiscal year, compared to the same period last year.

However, export performance was 0.40 percent short of the periodical target at $8.15 billion, the data showed.

In September alone, the earnings from overseas trade were recorded at $1.44 billion.

Bangladesh clocked a staggering 40.25 percent growth in June, but the country’s overseas sales started to slow down since then.

Firstly, the growth in export is increasing gradually for better performances in the newly developed markets such as Japan, South American countries, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, exporters said.

Secondly, the export in value is increasing due to higher prices of per unit of garment items from the high-end customers, they added.

The trends show that a good number of high-end brands are now outsourcing garment items from Bangladesh. As a result, the prices of per unit of garment item also increased in value, said the exporters.

However, export growth of some major products such as knitwear, woven garments, jute and jute goods, oceangoing vessels, home textile, footwear and frozen foods slowed down during the period.

In the July-October period, Bangladesh exported knitwear worth $3.38 billion and woven worth $2.93 billion, with a 16.88 percent and 25.10 percent rise respectively compared to the same period a year ago.

But, the international market is still volatile, said Monoj Kumar Roy, joint secretary (export) of the commerce ministry.

“We should be cautious in the coming days. We are keeping an eye on the market trend regularly because it is a volatile time,” he said.

He said the time has not come yet to be worried due to the fallouts of the debt crisis in the Eurozone.

“We did not expect such a good growth in export in October, but it happened due to good performances in the new export destinations,” said Faruque Hassan, vice-president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

He said the unit price of garment items also increased, while the major high-end brands are outsourcing garment items from the country.

Fazlul Hoque, former president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said: “The growth also surprised me. But the ground reality is different. We might face bad time in next two to three months,”

reefat@thedailystar.net

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