Chittagong port

Chattogram port of Bangladesh

Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Bangladesh’s overall export earnings decreased by nearly 7.0 per cent in the first four months of the current fiscal year (FY) following economic slowdown in Europe and trade tension between the US and China.

Overvalued of the local currency against the US dollar compared with other competitors in the global market has also pushed down the export earnings during the period under review, exporters have blamed.

Exporters have urged repeatedly the policy markers to depreciate the exchange of Bangladesh Taka (BDT) against the US currency for boosting their competitiveness in the global market.

The aggregate export earnings came down to US$12.72 billion during the July-October period of FY 2019-20 from $13.65 billion in the same period of FY ’19, according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data.

Such a drop in export receipts during the period under review resulted from the decline in the export value of readymade garment (RMG) products, the country’s top foreign currency earning sector, the EPB figures revealed.

The overall export earnings from RMG items — both knitwear and woven garments — fell by 6.67 per cent during the first four months of the current fiscal year.

The country’s RMG sector fetched nearly $10.58 billion during July-October period of FY 2019-20 as against $11.33 billion during the same period of FY ’19.

In the RMG sector, the earnings from exports of woven garments fell by 7.67 per cent to $ 5.04 billion during the four months of this fiscal over the same period of the last fiscal, the EPB figures show.

The export earnings of knitwear product during the first four months of this fiscal also dropped by 5.73 per cent to nearly $5.54 billion.

The country’s knitwear products fetched over $5.87 billion during the first four months of the last fiscal year.

Bangladesh’s export earnings dropped by more than 17 per cent or US$637.95 million to $3.07 billion in October from $3.71 billion a year before.

Buyers are maintaining a conservative approach due to uncertainty over Brexit and trade war between the US and China, the exporters explained.

Because of this, they said, the production cost in Bangladesh went up and the makers were unable to grab orders from the competitors.

On the other hand, the export earnings from other key sectors also declined considerably during this July-October period over the corresponding period of last fiscal.

Among the major exportable products, earnings from the export of leather and leather goods fell by 8.2 per cent to $316.90 million while that of specialised textile items by 7.54 per cent to $41.91 million during the four-month period.

Export receipts from jute and jute goods, however, bucked the trend, registering an increase of 8.88 per cent to reach $314.49 million during the July-October period of this fiscal as against $288.65 million in the same period of the last fiscal.

The export earnings for the month of October 2019 reached $3.07 billion, registering a decline of 17 per cent, compared to the same month of 2018, the EPB data show.