The exports of the apparel items saw negative growth from its largest and second largest single destinations – the United States (US) and Germany in the July-February period of the current 2022-23 fiscal year (FY).
Moreover, the exports to the major global destinations also experienced a narrow growth, according to the recent country-wise data of the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).
During July-February of FY2022-23, Bangladesh bagged $31.36 billion, fetching a narrow positive year-on-year (y-o-y) growth of 14.06% from $27.49 billion in July-February of FY22.
In the mentioned period, Bangladeshi manufacturers shipped apparel items worth $5.6 billion to the US – the single largest export destination – fetching a negative growth of 2.87% from $5.77 billion in the same period of the last fiscal year.
In the July-February period of FY23, Bangladesh shipped RMG items worth $4.62 billion to Germany, the second-largest single export market, witnessing a negative growth of 1.03% from $4.67 billion in the same period the previous fiscal year.
However, Bangladesh witnessed a narrow positive growth of 14.52% by exporting apparel items worth $3.36 billion to the UK, the third largest destination, higher from $2.93 billion in the same period of the last FY, EPB data said.
Clothing exports to other important countries such as Spain, France, Italy and the Netherlands increased by 18.79% to $2.35 billion, 27.65% to $1.89 billion, 56.14% to $1.54 billion and 31.12% to $1.25 billion respectively.
However, like the previous few months, exports to Poland saw negative growth further by 15.06% to $1.09 billion, said the EPB data.
Apparel exports to the overall European Union (EU) soared by 14.29% to $15.72 billion from $13.75 billion in the same period of FY22.
Exports to Canada reached $980.96 million, fetching a YoY growth of 20.05% from $817.10 million in the same period of last FY.
The apparel export to the non-traditional markets reached $5.68 billion with a 35.02% YoY growth from $4.21 billion in the same period of the last FY22.
Japan, Australia, Russia, India, China, South Korea, UAE, Malaysia, Brazil, Mexico and some other countries are known as non-traditional markets.
Among the major destinations of the non-traditional markets, exports to Japan reached $1.07 billion, with a YoY growth of 47.65% from $728.65 million in the last fiscal year.
Bangladesh earned $753.92 million from India between July and February of FY22-23, a 61.57% increase from $466.61 million during the same period the previous fiscal year.
According to EPB data, non-traditional market exports to Australia, South Korea and Mexico climbed by 38.18% to $767.75 million, 39.81% to $387.63 million and 41.25% to $239.05 million respectively.
Speaking to the media, BGMEA Director Mohiuddin Rubel said that the exports to the US have declined and it may continue for the coming months due to inflation and economic turmoil.
However, they are getting inquiries for 2024. Maybe things will be better then, he added.
He also said that Japan is a potential market and they have opportunity to grow there along with India.
He also said that Bangladesh has to diversify its market and products and always keep focus on the growing economy.
In FY22, Bangladesh exported apparel items worth $42.61 billion from its global destinations.