Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Bangladesh’s overall export earnings grew by 17.33 percent in the first five months of the current fiscal year (FY), driven by good performance of apparel sector, officials said.

The country’s overall export earnings rose to US$9.709 billion during the July-November period of the FY12 from $8.275 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal, according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) statistics, released on Sunday.

The figure is 3.55 percent lower than the strategic target of $10067.35 million, the EPB data showed.

The export growth in November last, however, witnessed a slight growth of 2.40 percent compared to the figure of November last year fetching $ 1591.24 million, but fell 16.95 percent short of the target of $ 1915.95 million.

“The overall export growth may slow down in the coming months due to the economic turmoil in the Europe and the United Stats,” a leading exporter said, adding that the Europe and the US accounted for over 80 percent of the country’s total export, but their demand in the recent times has declined so as the price.

During the period, knitwear fetched the bulk of the earnings with $ 3.997 billion, representing a 13.14 percent growth over the same period last year while woven garments earned $ 3.566 billion, a growth of 23.64 percent.

The export of home textiles totalled $307.71 million with a healthy growth of 37.26 percent; footwear exports earned $ 159.60 million, primary commodities $ 485.02 million, frozen foods, including frozen fish, shrimps and others $ 306.48 million, and agricultural products $ 178.54 million.

The export trend for leather and leather products and plastic products maintained their upward trend during the period under review.

Leather exports totalled $ 130.70 million, while leather products $ 28.89 million, cotton and cotton products together earned $ 43.06 million, plastic products $ 37.12 million while rubber exports fetched $ 4.18 million.

The country also earned $ 15.02 million from ceramic exports, and clock, watches and parts combined to earn over $ 12.84 million.

The export of jute and jute goods in July-November period declined totaling $ 410.30 million, registering a minus 5.60 percent fall.

Raw jute exports fetched $ 113.66 million with a 21.65 percent decline, jute yarn and twine $ 193.24 million, jute sacks and bags $ 84.85 million and other items brought in some $ 18.55 million.

BBN/SSR/AD-12Dec11-1:30 am (BST)