The country’s apparel exports to the non-traditional markets are facing hurdles, shipments to these markets witnessed a negative growth during the first quarter (Q1) of the current fiscal year (FY).
Readymade garment (RMG) shipments to traditional markets like the USA, EU and Canada, however, started regaining lost ground gradually during July-September period of FY 2020-21, data showed.
According to industry sources, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and Turkey are the 11 prospective markets beyond the three traditional export destinations, namely, the USA, European Union and Canada. Exports of both knit and woven items to the non-traditional destinations declined by 8.33% to US$ 1.24 billion in Q1 as compared to US$ 1.36 billion in the corresponding period of the last FY, according to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data. Exports to Brazil fell by 26.88%, Chile18.37%, China 34.55%, India 43.50%, Japan 10.93% and Mexico 25.72%. Exports to some non-traditional markets recorded a growth during the period, including to to Australia (8.28%), Korea (9.22%), Russia (41.69%), South Africa (4.19%) and Turkey (47.74%). The RMG shipments to the US witnessed a rise by 5.98% per cent to US$ 1.58 billion during the Q1.
EU imported apparel worth US$ 5.02 billion, marking a 1.58% growth, while Canada imported goods worth US$ 270.09 million, recording a 5.83% rise during the first quarter, data showed.
Bangladesh fetched US$ 4.78 billion or 17.10% of the total US$ 27.94 billion RMG exports from the non-traditional markets in the last FY. Exporters attributed the sluggish global demand for last couple of years to the decline in apparel exports to the non-traditional markets, while the pandemic worsened the situation further. They also blamed high duty in some emerging countries especially in Brazil for the decline. Fazlee Shamim Ehsan, director of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said exports increased in traditional markets because cancelled or suspended orders were now being shipped. There was not a high volume of cancelled orders from non-traditional destinations as was the case with traditional markets of US or EU, so there was no reinstatement of orders there, he said.