Exports up 3.53% in September

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Export earnings in September posted a 3.53% growth to $3.01 billion against $2.91 billion in the same month of last year

Bangladesh’s export earnings during the first quarter of the current fiscal year rose by 2.58% to $9.89 billion. 

According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, during the July-September period of the first quarter of the fiscal year 2020-21, Bangladesh earned $9.89 billion with a 2.58% increase in export earnings, which was $9.64 billion in the same period last year.

Export earnings in September posted a 3.53% growth to $3.01 billion against $2.91 billion in the same month of last year.    

On the other hand, export earnings from the apparel sector, the largest contributor to overall exports, went up by 0.85% to $8.12 billion during the July-September period of FY21, which was $8.05 billion last time. 

Knitwear products earned $4.46 billion, up by 7.04%, compared to $4.17 billion in the same period of last year.

On the other hand, export earnings from woven garments declined by 5.78% to $3.66 billion, which was $3.88 billion a year ago.

Among the major products, agricultural products posted a 3.4% growth to $271.49 million during the period.

 Jute and Jute goods earned $307.55 million, registering a 39.26% growth while export earnings from home textile grew by 40.74% to $252.35 million during the first quarter of the current fiscal year.

But the specialized textile sector saw an 11.13% decline to $29.54 million during the period.  

Pharmaceutical exports marked a 20.90% growth to $42.17 million against $35 million in the same period of last year. 

Export earnings from leather and leather goods in July-September this year declined by 11.49% to $225.15 million from $254.39 million in the same period of last year.

Leather footwear exports saw a fall of 6.83% to $148.36 million while other leather products fetched $53 million with a 17.79% negative growth during the period. 

On the other hand, export earnings from frozen and live fish rose by 5.11% to $131.6 million while the shrimp export fell by 3.35% to $97 million during the July-September period of FY21.

“Amid the pandemic, positive growth in export earnings especially in the apparel sector, the main export earner, is a relief for the country’s economy,” Centre for Policy Dialogue research director Dr Khondaker Golam Goazzem told Dhaka Tribune. 

The growth means global buyers, especially the European buyers, are relocating work orders to Bangladesh from other countries, said the economist. 

Positive growth in knitwear products will create new employment opportunities and workers from the woven sector can be transferred in the sector, said Moazzem. 

On the other hand, positive growth in pharmaceuticals, agriculture and jute is a good sign for the country. These products are mostly exported to non-traditional export destinations and it means the demands for our goods are on the rise, he added. 

Since the buyers are moving toward cost cutting and online marketplace, manufacturers have to concentrate to meet their demands and increase productivity to remain competitive, said the researcher.

“As expected during the normal scenario, we are still in negative growth. The present growth is pushed by the export of Personal Protective Equipment and other covid related products,” Mohammad Hatem, first vice president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) told Dhaka Tribune.

Nonetheless, the sector is running with insufficient work orders. If the work orders peak, the export earnings will return to its form, said the business leader. 

Since the people are working from home, the demands for the knitwear products are higher as a result the sector posted positive growth, said Hatem.

Meanwhile, BGMEA president Rubana Huq said retail sales in Bangladesh’s major markets have gained some momentum in the past two months so there is some surge in orders, however price-wise, it is still very challenging.

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