Exports back to positive trend in November

The country’s merchandise shipments again showed positive trend with a meagre growth in November this year after witnessing a fall in the previous month of October.

The single-month income in November’20 grew by 0.76 per cent to US$3.07 billion which was $3.05 billion in the corresponding month of 2019, according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data.

The earnings, however, missed the target by 8.20 per cent set for the month.

October’20 earnings, however, fell by 4.08 per cent to $2.94 billion.

After a continuous fall in export earnings since the beginning of the current calendar year, exports started showing recovery from June and entered positive territory from July last.

The overall export earnings stood at $15.92 billion, marking a 0.93 per cent growth during the July-November period of the current fiscal year 2020-21 over that of the same period last fiscal.

The country earned $15.77 billion during the same period of FY 2019-20.

The first five months’ export earnings in FY’21 fell short of target by 1.4 per cent, according to the EPB data.

The RMG sector that contributed the lion’s share of the total exports fetched $12.89 billion in proceeds, marking a 1.48 per cent negative growth during the first five months of FY’21.

It also missed the target set for the period by 3.11 per cent.

The country earned $7.13 billion from knitwear exports in July-November of FY’21, registering a growth of 4.80 per cent, which was $6.80 billion in the corresponding period of last fiscal.

Woven garment exports, however, declined by 8.29 per cent to $5.75 billion during the first five months of this fiscal from $6.27 billion in the same period of last fiscal, according to the data.

Knitwear export earnings surpassed the target set for the months by 8.49 per cent, but woven export missed the target by 14.44 per cent.

Besides, earnings from home textile exports grew by 50.61 per cent to $449.79 million. The achievement exceeded the target by 18.94 per cent.

Meanwhile, the jute sector that demonstrated a positive growth throughout the last fiscal also maintained an uptrend.

Jute and jute goods export earnings increased by 36.72 per cent to $553.43 million during the July-November period of this fiscal, up from $404.79 million over the corresponding period of last fiscal.

Agricultural products’ earnings grew by 0.25 per cent to $447.42 million during the first five months of FY’21.

Export earnings of frozen and live fish, however, decreased by 1.12 per cent to $232.48 million.

Pharmaceuticals income stood at $69.82 million, marking a 17.36 per cent growth.

On the other hand, leather and leather goods earned $358.57 million, registering an 8.32 per cent decline.

Plastic products witnessed a negative growth of 10.08 per cent to $43.96 million during the July-November period, according to the EPB data.

When asked, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Dr Rubana Huq attributed the reinstatement of the cancelled orders to the short-lived recovery of export.

With the emergence of the second wave, the RMG sector’s performance started declining again in October and continued in November with a 7.78 per cent and a 2.66 per cent negative growth respectively, she said, terming those the impacts of lockdowns and slowdown in retail sales in the west.

November is the 16th consecutive month for woven garment having a downfall in export, she said, adding that knitwear retained growth to some extent due to the demand for clothing for home use and the peak season of sweaters.

Citing the data that revealed 13 per cent sales fall in the Europe and US in October, she said such trend in retail is obviously alarming for the industry, particularly bringing the worrying context of the global economy, trade, unemployment, and resulting in impact on disposable income and spending, the solid recovery may still be far away.

Quoting the NBR data, Ms Huq said RMG price fell by 5.19 per cent in November.

Since the recovery from Covid-19 may take a longer time than expected, which may prolong till the middle of next year, the industry needs continual support to stay afloat in the upcoming days along with additional support to withstand any adverse impacts, she noted.

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