RMG exports to US soar 45.53pc in Jan

FE Report | Thursday, 10 March 2022

The country's apparel exports to the US maintained a hefty growth - both in terms of value and volume - during the first month of current calendar year.
The US imported ready-made garment (RMG) items worth US$756 million from Bangladesh in January 2022, marking a 45.53 per cent growth, according to OTEXA, an affiliate of the US Department of Commerce. Bangladesh exported goods worth $519 million to the US in January 2021.
The country's apparel exports in terms of volume also sustained a 42.17 per cent growth to 282.38 million square metres in January 22, up from 198.62 million square metres in January 21.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Bangladesh fetched $7.14 billion from RMG exports to the US in 2021, keeping the market as its single-largest destination without any duty preference.
The 2021 RMG exports also surpassed those of the pre-pandemic level in 2019, when Bangladesh earned $5.92 billion.
Industry insiders said a high demand for the Bangladeshi RMG products, especially knit ones, since beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, significant rise in prices of raw materials, and buyers' confidence in the local industry's resilience and compliance have helped the exports grow - both in terms of volume and value.
Gradual economic recovery, aided by the Covid-19 vaccination coverage, and shifting orders from China due to the trade war between the US and China have also  contributed to the double-digit growth, they added.
However, Bangladesh's main competitors China and Vietnam also witnessed 47.11 per cent and 19.15 per cent growth respectively.
Meanwhile, the overall US apparel imports from across the world in January 22 also increased by 36.60 per cent to $7.54 billion - from $5.52 billion in the same month of 2021, OTEXA data showed.
The US imported apparel items worth $1.90 billion from China, and $1.27 billion from Vietnam. Apparel exports from other major sourcing destinations like India, Pakistan and Cambodia grew by 53.40 per cent, 44.41 per cent and 42.12 per cent respectively.

Meantime, a US-visiting delegation of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), led by its president Faruque Hassan, reiterated the need for more diplomatic efforts - especially in the US - to strengthen bilateral relationship as well as expand trade and business, according to a statement.
"Newer challenges will emerge for Bangladesh in the post-LDC era, as the trade facilities - currently being enjoyed by the country - will no longer be available after the graduation."
"In such a context, Bangladesh needs to step up its diplomatic efforts in our major export markets, like the US, to create an enabling environment to expand trade," the statement said quoting the BGMEA president.
His remarks came at a meeting with M Shahidul Islam, Bangladesh Ambassador to the US, in Washington DC on Tuesday.
BGMEA Vice President Miran Ali and Director Abdullah Hil Rakib, and Deputy Chief of Mission Ferdousi Shahriar and Commercial Counsellor Md Salim Reza were also present at the meeting.
The BGMEA delegation members apprised the envoy of the present situation of Bangladesh's RMG industry, its challenges, and the areas where the sector is working on to enhance competitiveness in the coming days.
Diversification of products, especially shift to non-cotton and high-end product segment, market diversification, and innovation in product development and process optimisation are some of the priorities for the industry, they said.
The BGMEA president sought support and cooperation of the Bangladesh Embassy in promoting bilateral trade between Bangladesh and the US, especially in increasing garment exports to the US market.
Faruque Hassan also called upon Ambassador Shahidul Islam to assist in attracting investment from the US businessmen and non-resident Bangladeshis in textile industries in Bangladesh, added the statement.
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