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Q1 exports up by 2.58pc, cross target by 2.45pc

FE Report | October 05, 2020 00:00:00

The country's merchandise shipments during the first quarter (Q1) of current fiscal year (FY), 2020-21, grew by 2.58 per cent to US$ 9.89 billion over that of the same period of last fiscal.

The July-September export earnings also surpassed the target set for the period by 2.45 per cent, according to provisional data of the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).

Bangladesh fetched $9.64 billion in July-September period of FY 2019-20.

The single month income in September 2020 grew by 3.53 per cent to $3.01 billion, which was $2.91 billion in September 2019. The September 20 earnings also surpassed the target by 5.92 per cent, the provisional data showed.

The export recovery has started in June and continued in September also.

The July earnings grew by 0.59 per cent year-on-year to $3.91 billion after a continuous fall in shipments in the previous months of the current calendar year amid the coronavirus outbreak. The August 2020 earnings grew by 4.32 per cent to $2.96 billion.

Exporters opined that gradual reopening of western markets and placing of new orders coupled with revival of majority of the previously suspended or cancelled ready-made garment (RMG) work-orders contributed to the turnaround.

The RMG sector that contributed over 83 per cent to the total exports fetched $8.12 billion export income during the first quarter of FY 21.

The RMG earnings also witnessed a nominal 0.85 per cent growth. The earnings exceeded the strategic target set for the months by 2.09 per cent.

The country earned $4.46 billion from knitwear exports in Q1 of FY 21, registering a growth of 7.04 per cent. Knitwear exports fetched $4.17 billion in July-September of last fiscal.

Earnings from export of woven garments, however, declined by 5.78 per cent to $3.66 billion during the first three months of this fiscal, from $3.88 billion in the correspondent period of last fiscal, according to data.

Knitwear export earnings surpassed the target set for the months by 13.44 per cent, but woven export missed the target by 9.01 per cent.

Besides, earnings from home textile exports grew by 40.74 per cent to $252.35 million. The achievement exceeded the target by 11.75 per cent.

When asked, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Rubana Huq said, "Retail sales in our major markets have gained some momentum in past two months."

So, there are some surges in orders, although price-wise it is a havoc, she noted.

Fazlee Shamim Ehsan, director of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), termed the growth positive, taking the ongoing coronavirus pandemic into consideration.

He attributed the positive growth of knitwear sub-sector to the new orders, placed mostly from July for winter season.

Winter items are mostly knitted products, he said, adding that buyers have shortened lead time due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Ehsan, also owner of Fatullah Apparels, noted that the overall export growth turned around, also following revival of most of the suspended or cancelled orders since the virus outbreak in March and April.

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

Jute and jute goods export earnings increased by 39.26 per cent to $307.55 million during Q1 of this FY, up from $220.85 million over the corresponding period of last fiscal.

Agricultural products' earnings grew by 3.4 per cent to $271.49 million during the first three months of FY 21, the provisional data showed.

Export earnings of frozen and live fish also increased by 5.11 per cent to $131.6 million.

Pharmaceuticals earnings stood at $42.17 million, marking a 20.90 per cent growth.

On the other hand, the country earned $225.15 million by exporting leather and leather goods during the first quarter of current fiscal, registering an 11.94 per cent decline compared to the same period of last fiscal.

The sector's exports, however, surpassed the target set for the period by 3.87 per cent.

Furniture earnings fell by 4.72 per cent to $16.36 million in Q1 of FY 21.

Plastic products witnessed a negative growth of 16.95 per cent to $26.17 million during this July-September period, according to the EPB data.

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