Exports up in Jan, thanks to apparel

February 9, 2017

Exports brought home $3.31 billion last month, up 4 percent from a year earlier, driven by higher shipments of garment.

The amount was 6.43 percent higher than the previous month's receipts but fell short of the target of $3.40 billion.

January's receipts take the export earnings for the first seven months of fiscal 2016-17 to $20.11 billion, a 4.36 percent increase from a year earlier.

Garments, which typically account for 80 percent of the export receipts, raked in $2.7 billion, up 3.05 percent year-on-year and 4.65 percent month-on-month, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau.

“The export trend of apparel for the near future will remain the same due to the volatile economic situation around the world,” said Siddiqur Rahman, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

For instance, garment export to the US, the country's single largest export destination, declined 1.49 percent to $5.11 billion during the January-November period of 2016, according to data from the US Department of Commerce.

Garment export to the UK, the third largest destination, declined 5.19 percent in the first six months of the fiscal year.

To achieve the sector's export target of $50 billion by 2021, more than 12.25 percent export growth is needed every year.

“But we are far behind the target now,” Rahman said.

In the first seven months of fiscal 2016-17, $16.41 billion worth of garment products were shipped, up 4.12 percent year-on-year. The receipts missed the seven-month target of $17.28 billion.

Jute and jute goods sector was one of the top export performers during the July-January period, with shipments rising 14.05 percent year-on-year to $563.98 million. It was also higher than its periodic target of $548.26 million.

Shipments of leather and leather goods grew well during the seven-month period. It stood at $743.77 million, up 12.18 percent year-on-year. This segment too hit its periodic target of $693.85 million.

Furniture exports soared 23.37 percent to $23.65 million and pharmaceuticals 8.51 percent to $52.64 million.

Home textile exports increased 1.42 percent to $427.21 million and plastic products 45.74 percent to $75.39 million on the back of the 10 percent cash incentive on shipments. Some sectors showed poor performance during the period.

Among the poor performers, frozen and live fishes exports declined 0.80 percent to $329.15 million; it is 6.98 percent higher than the target of $307.68 million.


Exports of petroleum byproducts declined 28.24 percent to $149.50 million.

The government has set the export target of $37 billion for the fiscal year, which is 8 percent higher than fiscal 2015-16's receipts.


Source: The Daily Star