Enterprise News, Export Watch, Reports

Exports rise on boost from apparel, jute

Export earnings grew 3.97 percent year-on-year to $25.94 billion in the July-March period of the current fiscal year on the back of higher shipments of garments, jute and jute goods and leather and leather products.

However, the earnings fell 4.30 percent short of the target at $27.11 billion set for the nine-month period, according to the Export Promotion Bureau.

Exports in March rose almost 10 percent year-on-year to $3.10 billion, beating the monthly target of $3.02 billion.

Shipment of garment, which contributes nearly 82 percent to the total national exports, increased 2.39 percent to $20.92 billion during July-March, compared to the same period a year ago.

Earnings from garment exports are 5.98 percent lower than the July-March target at $22.25 billion.

“Garment export growth should be more than 12 percent a year to reach the target of $50 billion by the end of 2021. This growth is too low for achieving the target,” said Siddiqur Rahman, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

Apparel shipment went down due to various factors — a fall of the euro against the US dollar, Brexit issues, the US elections and a decline in consumption in the West, said Rahman.

“Though the UK is the third largest export destination for Bangladesh, exports to this destination began declining because of Brexit,” he said.

Garment shipments to the UK fell 5.19 percent to $1.53 billion in the first half of fiscal 2016-17. Usually, Bangladesh exports apparel worth more than $3 billion to the UK in a year. Britons are suffering from an inflationary pressure due to a fall in the value of the pound.

Similarly, apparel exports to the US, the single largest export destination for Bangladesh, declined to some extent because of a volatile economy after the national elections. “People in the West are now spending more on smart gadgets than on clothing. This is a major reason for a fall in consumption of clothing items worldwide,” Rahman said.

Jute and jute goods also performed well in the July-March period, as exports grew 13.94 percent to $731.02 million, surpassing the target for the period at $706.35 million. Shipments of leather and leather goods stood at $922.96 million, up 8.41 percent year-on-year, against the target at $893.93 million. Furniture exports rose 18.21 percent to $35.63 million and pharmaceuticals 9.44 percent to $67.48 million.

Shipments of home textile increased 4.68 percent to $582.09 million and plastic products 36.76 percent to $91.40 million, riding on the back of a 10 percent cash incentive on shipments.

Some sectors fared badly: exports of frozen and live fishes declined 4.94 percent to $382.59 million, falling 3.49 percent short of the target at $396.41 million. Exports of petroleum byproducts fell 20.19 percent to $195.31 million. The government has set the export target at $37 billion for this fiscal year, which is 8 percent higher than the receipts in fiscal 2015-16.

Similarly, apparel exports to the US, the single largest export destination for Bangladesh, declined to some extent because of a volatile economy after the national elections. “People in the West are now spending more on smart gadgets than on clothing. This is a major reason for a fall in consumption of clothing items worldwide,” Rahman said.

Jute and jute goods also performed well in the July-March period, as exports grew 13.94 percent to $731.02 million, surpassing the target for the period at $706.35 million. Shipments of leather and leather goods stood at $922.96 million, up 8.41 percent year-on-year, against the target at $893.93 million. Furniture exports rose 18.21 percent to $35.63 million and pharmaceuticals 9.44 percent to $67.48 million.

Shipments of home textile increased 4.68 percent to $582.09 million and plastic products 36.76 percent to $91.40 million, riding on the back of a 10 percent cash incentive on shipments.

Some sectors fared badly: exports of frozen and live fishes declined 4.94 percent to $382.59 million, falling 3.49 percent short of the target at $396.41 million. Exports of petroleum byproducts fell 20.19 percent to $195.31 million. The government has set the export target at $37 billion for this fiscal year, which is 8 percent higher than the receipts in fiscal 2015-16.