Staff Correspondent: The Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) disclosed data indicating that Bangladesh’s merchandise exports in September amounted to $4.31 billion, marking the second-lowest figure for this year. The lowest point was recorded in April when exports fell to $3.96 billion.
The year-on-year (YoY) analysis from the EPB shows that exports increased by 10.37% in September compared to the same month in the previous year, rising from $3.9 billion. However, the export earnings in September still fell short of the $4.63 billion target set for that month, trailing by 7%.
August had seen a significant boost in exports, growing by around 36% YoY to reach $4.61 billion. This growth was attributed to several product categories, including ready-made garments, home textiles, leather, and jute goods, as reported by the EPB.
Despite this upturn in August, Bangladesh’s export earnings have experienced a general decline since June. In June, the country generated over $5 billion in merchandise exports, but this figure dropped to $4.59 billion in July.
An analysis of the EPB data reveals that, apart from the ready-made clothing sector, exports saw a decline in other major sectors, including frozen and live fish, agricultural products, plastic goods, leather and leather products, jute, and jute goods, as well as home textiles in September.
Remarkably, only ready-made garment (RMG) exports showed significant growth, increasing by 13% last month. RMG exports continue to be the cornerstone of Bangladesh’s export economy, accounting for approximately 85% of the total exports.
However, some RMG exporters have expressed skepticism about the EPB data.
“Many factories are struggling with low export orders and are not operating at full capacity. So, I’m perplexed by how exports are reported to be increasing,” said FazleeShamim Ehsan, Vice President of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA).
This mixed picture of the export sector indicates both challenges and opportunities for Bangladesh’s export-oriented industries.
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