Riding on a steady growth, readymade garment (RMG) grabs a larger share in national export, as other products are experiencing a drastic fall in exports amid global recession, according to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).
The RMG share in the national export was 79.07 percent during the July-April period of the current fiscal year, EPB data show.
The share would be more than 82 percent if home textiles and fabrics were included with woven and knitwear, the two main sub-sectors of RMG products, industry insiders said.
During the July-March period RMG contributed 79.17 percent to the national export.
The RMG share was 75.83 percent in fiscal 2007-08 when the country exported RMG products worth $10.70 billion, posting a 16.16 percent growth over the previous year.
In the July-April period Bangladesh exported RMG products worth $10.133 billion, registering an 18.13 percent rise over the same period of last fiscal year.
Of the total RMG exports in the period, the contribution of woven garment was 38.25 percent or $4.902 billion, while the figure for knitwear products was 40.82 percent or $5.231 billion.
During the 10-month period woven and knitwear registered 17.13 percent and 19.08 percent growth respectively over the same period last fiscal year.
On a monthly basis the country exported woven products worth $437.79 million and knitwear worth $480.4 million, posting 5.42 percent and 0.28 percent growth respectively from March to April of the current fiscal year.
However Abdul Moyeen, director of HR Textile, said the actual export of RMG is declining now due to the recession.
On the other hand, the RMG sector is running under below capacity because of a shortage of skilled workers amid falling prices of the exportable items, he said.
Exporters said the RMG share in national export is widening for the recent slump in exports of other products amid the global recession.
In the July-April period the exports of other major products such as pharmaceuticals declined by 13.66 percent, tea 13.47 percent, camera parts 20.78 percent, raw jute 17.65 percent, jute goods 17.78 percent, electronics 57.03 percent, leather 36.13 percent, frozen foods 14.26 percent and ceramic products by 10.69 percent over the last fiscal year.
About the downward export of frozen foods, the second largest export item after RMG, Maqsudur Rahman, vice president of Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association (BFFEA), said the global recession caused downswing in the demand for luxury food items worldwide.
“Prices of frozen foods declined by 60 percent in some cases because of the fall in demand followed by recession,” said Rahman, also the former BFFEA president.
Cyclone Aila that lashed the coastal region recently is yet another blow for the frozen food exporters, he said.
“The exports of frozen foods would be worth Tk 1,500 crore next year for the damages in hatcheries in the coastal region caused by Aila,” he said.
Source: The Daily Star, 08 June 2009