Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladesh’s export earnings grew by 6.55 per cent in the first seven months of the ongoing fiscal year (FY) 2017-18 following higher shipment of apparel products.

The overall export earnings rose to US$21.32 billion in the July-January period of the FY 18 from $20.01 billion in the same period of the FY 17, the state-run Export Promotion Bureau (EPB)’s latest data showed.

However, the country did not achieve the export target for July-January despite higher export of apparel and clothing sector, according to the official statistics.

The aggregate export receipts during the period under review were also slightly (0.23 per cent) lower from the strategic target of $21.37 billion.

Alone in January, exports receipts stood at $3.41 billion, up 3.54 per cent over the same month in the last fiscal year. The monthly target was, however, missed by 2.55 per cent.

The monthly export target was nearly $3.50 billion for the month of January, 2018.

During this period, the overall readymade garment (RMG) sector, which comprises over 83 per cent of total exports, earned $17.65 billion, up by 7.57 per cent compared to $16.41b in the same period last year.

Knitwear exports went up by 10.50 per cent year-on-year to $8.91 billion in July-January period from $8.06 billion while shipment of woven garments rose by 4.74 per cent to $8.75 billion from $8.35 billion.

Terming the growth ‘satisfactory’, considering the present apparel price and global demand, apparel sector leaders stressed enhancing price competitiveness and government policy support in line with that of the competitor countries.

They also said the deprecating mode of Bangladesh Taka (BDT) against the US currency also helped to achieve the growth.

“Under the present circumstances the export earnings growth in the first seven months is satisfactory as we have been facing continuous fall in prices of products in the global market,” an exporter told the BBN in Dhaka.

He also said that increasing price competitiveness was important for future growth and Bangladesh would have to adjust some of its policies to the international policy.

Among other items, export earnings from jute and jute goods in the first seven months of this fiscal increased by 17.36 per cent to $661.86 million from $563.98 million in the same period of last fiscal.

Agricultural products registered a 16.81 per cent growth with earnings of $359.94 million in the same period of FY 2017-18.

Export earnings from home textile during the period grew by 15.66 per cent to $494.09 million.

Exports of leather and leather products witnessed a negative growth of 4.61 per cent to $709.51 million compared with that of $743.77 million in the same period of FY 17.

Leather footwear export, however, increased by 6.59 per cent to $357.98 million during the period.

Exports of frozen food and live fish reached $353.99 million during the July-January period of current FY, marking a 7.55 per cent growth.