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Corporate - July 13, 2022

BD exports $337 m denim goods to US

Fetches continuous growth of 54.16pc

Staff Correspondent: As the top denim supplier to the US for the first five months of the current calendar year (January-May), Bangladesh continues to dominate the US denim market.
According to current data from the Commerce Department’s Office of Textiles and Apparel, Bangladesh exported denim goods worth $336.6 million to the US during this time, achieving a consistent year-over-year (YoY) growth of 54.16 percent (Otexa).
According to Otexa data, Bangladesh exported denim clothing worth $218.35 million during the same time period last year..
Industry insiders said that Bangladesh is still on the right track to remain a market leader for denim apparel, amid the global crises induced by war and inflation in the West and disruptions in the supply chain.
However, denim apparel imports to the US continue to increase as the country sourced $1.61 billion worth of denim apparel products from January to May, noting a significant boost of 40.78% on a YoY basis.
In 2021, Bangladesh became the top denim exporter to the US for the second consecutive year.
According to industry insiders, the country has established its dominance in the US market in exporting denim as the item produced in the country is often considered the best in the world.
Moreover, denim is the biggest brand for the country in the US market as US buyers now consider it an elite product of high quality, they also said.
Manufacturers also hope that Bangladesh will remain the top denim exporter to that market for a third consecutive year by the end of 2022.
According to Otexa, all major denim apparel shippers witnessed an increase in their respective shipments to the US market including Pakistan, Mexico, Bangladesh, China, Vietnam and Egypt.
Apart from Bangladesh, Mexico experienced significant progress and shipped $293.66 million worth of denim garments to the US, registering a growth of 26.17%, staying ahead of Pakistan, Vietnam and China.
Pakistan continued being a dominant force in denim apparel manufacturing and as data suggested, it noted a 67.29% yearly growth in the US market during the first five months of 2022, clocking $195 million in export revenues in the category.
Vietnam exported $170.53 million worth of denim with a 40.27% growth while China shipped $146.38 million – up by 24.82%.

Earlier, Bangladesh took the top position in denim export in the European Union (EU) market in 2017.
Talking to Dhaka Tribune, Mostafiz Uddin, managing director of Denim Expert Limited, and founder of Bangladesh Denim Expo, said that Bangladesh Denim Expo was contributing to the country becoming the number one denim exporter in the world.
He also said that Bangladesh would surely remain the number one denim exporter to the US by the end of this year as well.
According to him, the denim expo was contributing to the growth and successfully promoting sustainability, transparency, innovation, circularity and responsibility of the local denim industry.
Mohiuddin Rubel, director of the BGMEA, and managing director of Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE) told Dhaka Tribune that they expect to be at the top by the end of the year.
“Our denim industry has seen a lot of development and investment in infrastructure, technology up-gradation and other areas,” he added.
Moreover, considering the various issues in the post-pandemic international market and the strained US relations with other countries, it can be said that Bangladesh will be at the top at the end of the year as well.
“We’ll see $1 billion export earnings from denim from the US market soon,” he added.
He also said that the country’s all export sectors may face a minimal effect from the global situation, recession and rising inflation.
“The way our growth is moving may be hampered a bit and the target of $1 billion denim exports may be delayed. However, Bangladesh is in a good position even in the current global situation.”
“However, our rival countries will not lag far behind in the denim market, but we will be ahead of them hopefully,” he added.
According to the manufacturers, Bangladesh can cover almost 50-60% of denim production through local fabrics, saying that there are in-house design studios and a number of state-of-the-art fabric mills.
However, to strengthen this position, the ease of doing business needs to be further developed by resolving all the complexities related to infrastructure, ports, and the National Board of Revenue (NBR,) said the manufacturers.
Meanwhile, due to the Russia-Ukraine war, inflation in the country has risen sharply and that is why the sales of clothes in the outlets of the brands have declined noticeably.
Sustaining the number of apparel items exported to the US will be challenging and the intensity of which will be understood later this year, said manufacturers.
According to Otexa data, in 2021 Bangladesh exported $798.42 million worth of denim garments to its biggest export destination, experiencing year-on-year growth of 42.25% and a market share of 21.69%.

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