Bangladesh’s economic backbone – its readymade garment (RMG) export has bounced back again in August. Between August 1 to 30 this year, Bangladesh’s apparel export shipments totaled US$3.23 billion, up from US$2.23 billion during the same period in 2019. With about 45% year-on-year growth, according to Bangladesh Customs’ data, collected by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, this is an extraordinary feat, despite the eight-day Eid-ul-Adha holidays in August, expressed apparel industry leaders. Not to mention that the RMG export has been in a downward trend for seven successive months.
Apparel industry leaders opined to remain on course and optimism with the progress.
Fazlul Hoque, former President at the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) said, “A portion of canceled orders was possibly shipped in August with new order placement not being much higher. We are delighted with the sector returning to a positive trend.”
“If this positive export trend lasts in the next two months, we may say that apparel export earnings will be sustainable,” added Hoque.
Ex BGMEA President Abdus Salam Murshedy talked on the same note that a decent number of earlier canceled or suspended orders were transported in August.
Fazlee Shamim Ehsan, Chief Executive Officer at Fatullah Apparels Ltd said, “Currently, buyers and retailers are now placing new orders for the upcoming winter as most western stores have no stock of winter apparels”.
Also, the upcoming Christmas celebrations and shipments for next winter and spring may bring good news in the coming days for Bangladesh’s apparel export industry.
At the same time, the visionary leader threw caution in the wind and said, it is very hard to make any forecast as the COVID-19 pandemic has altered all traditional calculations.
Rubana Huq, President, BGMEA said that instead of year-on-year based monthly figures a six-month average growth would be a better depiction of export earnings.
“However, if we perceive it product-wise, while cotton trousers have maintained the biggest share in terms of increase, man-made fiber (MMF)-based product categories in tops have also seen good growth,” she added.