Bangladesh’s receipts from merchandise exports declined 7.3 per cent year-on-year. This is the second consecutive month export earnings declined. September’s earnings were also 7.78 per cent lower than the month’s target. The decline of exports in September was mainly due to the non-utilisation of full production capacity on the occasion of the holidays. A significant number of factories have also been shut down since February 2019, resulting in job losses.
Overall, export earnings in the first quarter of the current fiscal year declined 2.94 per cent year-on-year. Earnings from almost all major sectors, such as garment, leather and leather goods, and frozen foods fell. Garment shipments between July and September fell by 1.64 per cent. Earnings from garment shipments, which account for more than 80 per cent of national exports, were 11.52 per cent below the quarter’s target. Shipment of cement, pharmaceuticals, terry towel, ceramics and home textiles also performed poorly.
Shipments are expected to rebound as international retailers and brands are coming over with a lot of work orders because of the ongoing trade war between the US and China. Apparel retailers and brands are also coming to Bangladesh for the brighter image created through a lot of improvements at factories and strengthening of workplace safety.