February exports fall short of target


Bangladesh fetched $1.217 billion from exports in February against the $1.264 billion target, registering a 3.75 percent shortfall in expected earnings.

The state-run promotional agency for exports says international buyers placed fewer orders in the month because of the global economic crisis.

In January, exports went 4.38 percent higher than the target, the EPB data showed.

However, the February exports marked a 1.54 percent growth compared to the same period a year earlier. A 15.90 percent rise has been registered in the first eight months (July-February) of the current fiscal year, compared to the period a year earlier.

The country’s export earnings reached $10.353 billion during this period against the $10.437 billion target. The annual export target was fixed at $16.298 billion for FY 2008-09.

Knitwear, the single largest export item, grew 23.08 percent growth to $4.270 billion and woven 19.26 percent to $3.922 billion during July-February of this fiscal year, compared to the same period a year earlier.

Talking to The Daily Star Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), feared a further decline in April, May and June, as orders from buyers are slimming.

The consumption of Utilisation Declaration (UD) certificates may fall by 5.0 percent, which was 17.58 percent negative in February and more than 4.0 percent in January, according to the BGMEA.

SM Jahangir Hossain, president of Bangladesh Fruits, Vegetables and Allied Products Exporters Association, said exports of vegetables and allied products slumped because of the higher airfreight charge and global recession.

“Many small and medium exporters of these items have stopped exporting as they were incurring losses for higher carriage charges and a demand-drop in major markets,” Hossain said.

The July-February period registered $87.14 million terry towel exports, with $79.52 million targeted for earnings from the item. Export Promotion Bureau reported a 19.60 percent growth in exports of terry towel and 60.03 percent growth in textile fabrics exports during the time.

Medicine exports declined by 15.49 percent to $24.82 million, tea 13.02 percent to $10.96 million, vegetables 30.69 percent to $29.23 million, raw jute 19.78 percent to $87.83 million, handicrafts 21.89 percent to $2.89 million, jute goods 18.08 percent to $177.42 million, leather 33.05 percent to $124.74 million, frozen foods 11.00 percent to $331.01 million and ceramic products 5.70 percent to $23.66 million during July-February.

On the other hand, chemical fertiliser exports grew 157.42 percent to $108.89 million, footwear 21.68 percent to $131.52 million, home textile 14.33 percent to $215.06 million, and tobacco 62.00 percent to $27.41 million.

The Daily Star, 03 April 2009

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