The readymade garment (RMG) manufacturing export earnings, the backbone of Bangladesh’s economy dropped 2.99 per cent to $15.54 billion. As per data from Export Promotion Bureau (EBP) RMG contributes 84 per cent to the national exports. While the overall garment export observed an extraordinary 16.94 per cent year-on-year drop in 2020.
Rubana Huq, President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) 2020 was a dark year for the industry with lockdowns in Europe and the US and its impact on retail and demand, the worst-ever Christmas sales, and effects of price decline. Of the export earnings, knitwear shipment earned $8.52 billion, up 3.9 per cent compared to a year ago, while woven exports declined 10.22 per cent to $7.01 billion. However, knitwear export rose as consumers mostly wear casual dresses with stay and work from home.
EPB data also showed that apparel export was down 9.64 per cent in December as the pandemic continues to pound the global economy. Last month, woven garment export recorded the worst performance since June plunging 18.07 per cent. While knitwear export fell 0.45 per cent. One of the key reasons for knitwear growth was easy sourcing of raw materials for local manufacturers. Whereas the majority of raw materials required to produce woven garments, need to be imported.