Bangladesh exports in July this year fetched $3.91 billion, the highest-ever earnings in a single month in the country’s history, due to an increased shipment of readymade garment products as global buyers reinstated their orders in view of improving situation of coronavirus pandemic.
Bangladesh’s exports earnings in July rose 44% to $3.91 billion, from $2.71 billion in June, after witnessing a sharp decline in the last couple of months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bangladesh exports bounce back
According to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data unveiled on last Tuesday, in July, the first month of the fiscal year 2020-21, Bangladesh earned $3.91 billion with a 0.59% increase in export earnings, which was $3.88 billion in the same period last year.
In FY20, the country’s exports earnings registered a sharp decline of nearly 17% at $33.67 billion as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the global supply chain and slashed the demand for most goods.
Export earnings from the RMG sector, the $28 billion industry and the largest contributor to overall exports, decreased by 1.98% to $3.24billion in July. It was $3.31 billion in the same month of 2019.
Knitwear products earned $1.75 billion, up by 4.30%, compared to $1.67 billion in the same month of last year.
On the other hand, export earnings from woven garments declined by 8.43% to $1.49 billion, which was $1.63 billion a year ago.
As per the EPB data, jute and jute goods exports posted a 38.23% rise to $103.51 million in July, 2020 which was $74.88 million in the same period of July 2019.
Meanwhile, export earnings from home textile products in July this year grew by 42.25% to $94.01 million from $66.09 million in the same period of last year.
Exporters and economists welcomed the growth but also expressed concern over whether the performance would continue as the global market has not yet recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The positive trend in export is back after a few months. It is positive news for the country but we should remember that a recession has begun,” said Professor Mustafizur Rahman, distinguished fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue.
“We welcome this performance, but there is no guarantee that it will continue for long,” he added.
“Performance sustainability will depend on apparel exports as our export performance is mainly RMG-driven. That is why we should think about what will happen in next autumn and winter,” continued the eminent economist.
Export performance in July showed excellent growth with a fantastic figure, said Md Fazlul Hoque, managing director of Plummy Fashions Ltd, the greenest knitwear factory in the world.
He thinks there are three reasons behind this growth, “A big part of the orders that were suspended in April and May were restored in July. Secondly, exporters got some orders as the government had allowed factories to resume operations in April. Finally, some brands did not cancel their orders for July.”
Fazlul said this growth may not continue in August and September but it will be good if the apparel sector can export about $2.5 billion worth of products in those months.
He explained that knitwear products have enjoyed good growth as they are mainly exported to the European Union and that market is already on its way to recovery.
“However, woven items are mostly exported to the US, which is still struggling to tackle the pandemic,” he added.