Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Bangladesh’s export earnings grew by over 9.0 percent during the first eight months of the current fiscal year (FY 2012-13) while major exporters called for political stability for further growth.

The country’s overseas merchandise shipments stood at US$ 17.40 billion in July-February of FY `13, up from $ 15.90 billion during the same period of previous fiscal though it missed the target by 1.86 percent, according to the state-run Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) statistics. 

The single month earnings stood at $2.24 billion, marking a robust growth of 13.23 percent in February compared to that of 2012. But it (the growth) missed the target set for the month by 1.55 percent.

Except August and November of 2012, the single month earning during the current fiscal year surpassed the target.

Knitwear fetched $ 6.73 billion, showing a 6.91 percent growth during the period under review compared to the same period of the last fiscal while woven garments accounted for $ 7.09 billion, marking a healthy growth of 13.37 per cent.

Earnings from both knit and woven surpassed the targets by 0.20 and 2.59 per cent respectively during the period while the woven sector witnessed a continuous negative growth by target from August to December in 2012. 

Diversification of products and markets, especially garment markets like Japan, China, Russia, Latin America and Africa also plays a big role behind the growth, exporters and EPB officials said adding that other sectors like light engineering also draw demand and orders from developed and developing countries. 

Vice President of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) Mohammad Hatem reportedly said, "The growth is continuing due to a recovery in the major destinations and the rise in export to new markets." "There was an increase in orders during the last few months but we are in doubt about the future.”

Earnings from jute and jute goods stood at $ 674.40 million in July-February period of the current fiscal, marking a growth of 9.64 per cent compared to that of the corresponding period of the last fiscal.

The frozen food sector faced a negative growth of nearly 17 per cent during the first eight months of the current fiscal over that in the corresponding period of the last fiscal, and it also fell short of the target by 16.77 per cent.

Agricultural products export grew by 28.50 per cent, pharmaceuticals by 30.23 per cent, leather by 11.46 per cent, leather goods by 85.40 per cent, handicrafts by 31.49 per cent, footwear by 17.16 per cent, furniture by 21.44 per cent and engineering products by 8.14 per cent during the July-February of FY 2012-13.

BBN/SSR/AD-11Mar13-11:49 am (BST)