Exports off to a good start
Exports started fiscal 2018-19 on a bright note, fetching $3.58 billion in July, which is 19.73 percent more than a year earlier.
July's receipts, which beat the strategic target of $3.35 billion set for the month, are an increase of 22.18 percent from a month earlier, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau.
Of the sum, apparel alone brought $3.01 billion, up 21.72 percent year-on-year.
Bangladesh held on to its status as the second biggest apparel supplier in the world in 2017 and consolidated its position, according to data from the World Trade Organisation. Its share of global apparel market is 6.5 percent, up from 6.4 percent in 2016.
“Foreign retailers' confidence in us is coming back,” said Mohammed Nasir, vice-president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the garment makers' platform.
After the factory remediation as per the suggestions of the Accord and Alliance experts, the international retailers have started placing bulk orders again.
Besides, China, the largest apparel exporter, has been losing its share in global apparel trade because of higher costs of production and shortage of workers. As a result, the work orders are being diverted to Bangladeshi factories, he added.
Moreover, the depreciation of local currency against the greenback also flattered the export receipts, exporters said. Apart from garment items, jute and jute goods performed well in July.
Jute and jute good exports raked $74.26 million, up 15.08 percent year-on-year.
The export of terry towel soared 31.45 percent to $3.26 million, furniture 15.96 percent to $4.65 million, pharmaceuticals 21.94 percent to $8.78 million.
Ceramic shipments rocketed more than five times to $20.33 million and agricultural product exports more than doubled to $103.49 million.
On the other hand, the export of leather and leather goods dropped 21.73 percent year-on-year to $91.16 million and frozen and live fish 31.75 percent to $40.97 million.
Last week, the government set $39 billion as the export target for the fiscal year, which is 6.36 percent higher than last year's receipts of $36.66 billion.