Islamic Lifestyle

Bangladesh apparel exports to U.S. fall 13 pct in two months

Published 10 Apr,2021 via The Financial Express - Apparel exports to the US, the country's single largest destination, registered over 13 per cent decline in the first two months of 2021 year-on-year mainly because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bangladesh fetched US$ 1.0 billion in the Jan-February period of 2021 through apparel exports, down from $1.15 billion during the same period of 2020, according to data of the Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) -- affiliated with the US Department of Commerce.

During the first two months of 2021, Bangladesh shipped 392.71 million square metres of apparel items, whereas the export was 408.80 million square metres in the Jan-Feb period of 2020.

The country fetched $5.22 billion in 2020, which was $5.92 billion in 2019, according to the data.

Readymade garment exporters, however, linked the sluggish demand in US followed by the higher Covid-19 infection rates and the change in sales pattern to the poor performance of apparel shipments to its largest destination.

The OTEXA data also showed that the total apparel import by the US declined by 13.84 per cent to $10.91 billion in the Jan-Feb period of 2021, which was $12.66 billion during the corresponding months of 2020.

China, the largest exporter to the US, also witnessed a 9.22 per cent negative growth in RMG export with earnings amounting to $2.45 billion in the first two months of the current calendar year. The country shipped apparel items worth $2.70 billion in the same months of the last year.

Vietnam's RMG export to the US market declined by 12.09 per cent to $2.09 billion during the period, down from $2.38 billion in the Jan-Feb period of last year.

The US apparel import from Cambodia, which witnessed a 5.45 per cent growth in 2020 despite the pandemic, decreased by 14.08 per cent in the Jan-Feb period of 2021. Cambodia fetched $450.55 million in the first two months, according to OTEXA data.

The US apparel import from India fell by 21.89 per cent to $593.85 million in the Jan-Feb of 2021.

Talking to the FE, Shahidullah Azim, managing director of the Classic Fashion Concept, said Bangladesh suffered an unprecedented drop in its apparel exports last year due to the pandemic.

Also, demand for apparel items have declined in the major markets including the USA and EU as their local economies were also hit hard by the Covid-19, he added.

Bangladesh shipped mostly woven items to the US, he said, adding that demands for woven items were also declining as people largely stayed at home.

Buyers are well-aware of the current situation; therefore, they are placing fewer orders, he observed.

Exporters said China and Vietnam received new sourcing orders than Bangladesh because of advantages in their production flexibility.

China and Vietnam export a more diverse range of products, while Bangladesh concentrates on basic items only, they added.

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