Bangladesh has witnessed 13 per cent decline in the first two months of 2021 year in the apparel export to the country’s largest export destinations, the US.
Bangladesh earned $ 1.0 billion in the last eight months (Jan-February) 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), which is an affiliation of the US Department of Commerce.
In addition, Bangladesh exported 392.71 million square metres of apparel items during the first two months of 2021, whereas the export was 408.80 million square metres in the Jan-Feb period of 2020.
The country brought about $5.22 billion in 2020, which was $5.92 billion in 2019, according to the data.
The OTEXA data also showed that the total apparel imports by the US decreased by 13.84 per cent to $10.91 billion in the Jan-Feb period of 2021. The value was $12.66 billion during the corresponding months of 2020.
In the meantime, China, the largest exporter to the US, also observed 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.
On the other hand, the country exported 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.
Nonetheless, 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.
The US apparel import from Cambodia, which observed 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.
Market insiders reasoned that both Bangladesh and its export destinations have faced tremendous shock to their economy due to pandemic, which has led to the reason of unprecedented drop in its apparel export.
Besides, Bangladesh shipped mostly woven items to the US and demands for woven items were also declining as people largely stayed at home.