Bangladesh RMG

RMG workers in a Bangladesh factory. BBN file photo.

Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Bangladesh’s overall export earnings crossed US$20 billion-mark in the first-half (H1) of this fiscal following higher shipment of apparel products.

The export earnings grew by 14.42 per cent to $20.49 billion during the July-December period of the fiscal year (FY) 2018-19 from $17.91 billion in the same period of the FY 18.

The export performance was 9.13 per cent higher than the target set for this period, the state-run Export Promotion Bureau (EPB)’s latest data showed.

Alone in December, exports receipts stood at $3.42 billion, up 2.18 per cent over the same month in the last fiscal year.

The performance, however, fell short of the target, set for the month of December, by 3.49 per cent.

Earnings from readymade garment (RMG) covering both knitwear and woven increased by 15.65 per cent to $17.08 billion during the period under review from $14.77 billion in the same period of the FY 18.

Knitwear exports went up by nearly 14 per cent year-on-year to $8.65 billion in July-December from $7.59 billion while shipment of woven garments rose by 17.84 per cent to $8.43 billion from $7.17 billion.

The depreciating mode of local currency against the US dollar also contributed to achieve such hefty export growth, according to experts.

The exchange rate of Bangladesh Taka (BDT) depreciated significantly against the US currency in 2018 mainly due to a higher demand for the greenback for settling import bills.

The local currency depreciated by BDT 1.25 to BDT 83.95 on Thursday (January 03) in the inter-bank foreign exchange market from BDT 82.70 a year before.

They also said the ongoing US-China trade war, strong US economy, the largest destination for products originating from Bangladesh, and improved factory capacity played vital roles for the leap in the earnings.

On the other hand, trade analysts have attributed to ongoing trade war between US and China as well as better growth of major non-RMG items helped achieving such hefty export growth, they explained.

“Various efforts including remedial works have helped regaining buyers’ confidence and encouraged them to source their products from Bangladesh,” a leading apparel exporter explained.

The EPB data showed that earnings from home textile export rose a meagre 0.3 per cent to $408.94 million during the first half of this fiscal.

Earnings from home textile, however, fell short of the target by 9.68 per cent during the same period.

The downtrend in earnings from jute and jute goods continued during the July-December period of the FY 19.

The sector’s earnings fell by 26.66 per cent to $421.02 million from $574.05 million in the same period of the last fiscal.

Bangladesh earned $532.3 million from exports of leather and leather products in the first half of FY 19, marking a 14.18 per cent negative growth.

Earnings from leather footwear grew 5.90 per cent to $325.67 million in the July-December period.

Exports of frozen and live fish increased marginally by 0.73 per cent to $314.73 million during the same period of the current fiscal, the official figures showed.