Exports spring back
Exports bounced back in the month of October, fetching $2.84 billion on the back of higher shipments of apparel products.
“Yes, garment export is rebounding after a slowdown over the last few months,” said Siddiqur Rahman, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
Garment shipments, which typically fetch 82 percent of the export earnings, brought home $2.29 billion last month, up 41.36 percent from the previous month and 6.02 percent from a year earlier.
“I hope garment shipments will only increase from here onwards as the peak season is coming up,” he added.
October's receipts are higher than the previous month's by 39.9 percent and the previous year's by 6.37 percent, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau.
The amount, which beat the target of $2.68 billion set by the commerce ministry for the month, takes the tally so far in the fiscal year to $11.51 billion.
In the first four months of fiscal 2017-18, leather and leather goods shipment, the second largest export earning sector after garment, declined slightly.
It raked in $428.44 million, down 0.02 percent from a year earlier.
But jute and jute goods, the next big export earner, saw its receipts soar 16.46 percent to $345.01 million during the period.
The sector's prospects on the global stage brightened after the long-delayed diversification of the product range and the higher demand for Bangladeshi made jute yarn for carpets and rug manufacturing in Turkey and some Middle-eastern destinations, according to industry people. Moreover, jute exports to Japan and Russia are increasing due to higher demand of natural fibre-made products there, exporters said. Home textile exports increased 20.37 percent year-on-year to $260.79 million, while the shipment of agricultural products like vegetable, fruits, spices, cut flowers grew 20.22 percent to $203.21 million.
Frozen fish, live fish and shrimp export increased 15.41 percent to $226.91 million, which is 37.21 percent higher than the target for the period.
Shrimp exporters said they have been receiving better prices from buyers as the demand for the black tiger variety of shrimp increased in the western world.
Last year, shrimp exporters received $5.50 to $6.50 for a pound of shrimp, but this year they are receiving between $7.50 and $8, according to exporters. Pharmaceuticals exports grew 17.31 percent year-on-year to $32.19 million and furniture exports 18.81 percent to $14.15 million.