The single-month export earnings from merchandise shipments fell by 11.74 per cent to $3.21 bn in August, according to official data released recently. Bangladesh raked in $3.64 bn in the corresponding month of the calendar year 2017. The August earnings also fell short of target slightly by 0.60 per cent set for the month. The overall earnings from goods exports, however, witnessed a sluggish 2.51 per cent growth, showed the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data. The earnings posted $6.79 bn in the first two months of the current fiscal year (FY), 2018-19, surpassing the August target by 3.24 per cent. The country fetched $6.62 bn in the corresponding period last fiscal. Earnings from garment exports during the July-August period grew by 3.82 per cent to $5.73 bn. It was $5.52 bn in the corresponding period last fiscal, according to the EPB data.

The earnings thus surpassed the target by 3.96 per cent. The country earned $2.91 bn from knitwear exports during the period, a meagre growth of 1.53 per cent compared with last fiscal’s $2.86 bn. The earning from woven garments in the first two months of FY ’19 grew by 6.28 per cent to $2.82 bn, from $2.65 bn for the same month of FY ’18. The official figures showed the earnings from home textiles witnessed a negative growth of 4.53 per cent to $134.35 mn from $140.73 mn. Earnings from home textiles short fell of target by 15.31 per cent during the July-August period of FY ’19. When asked, Mohammed Hatem, Vice-President of Exporters Association of Bangladesh, said the export earnings revealed were the shipments for 20-22 days of August.” Garment factories remained closed for a long time in August for Eid vacation,” he said. There was nothing to worry, Mr. Hatem said expressing hope that the earnings would be better in September. The business leader, however, said exports might decline in December and afterwards following the announcement of a new wage board for workers.

Buyers are in a ‘wait and watch’ situation, he added. Jute and jute goods earnings in July 2018 fell by 15.57 per cent to $131.13 mn from $155.31 mn during the same period last fiscal. The country fetched $183 mn from leather and leather product exports during the July-August period of FY ’19, marking a 26.26 per cent negative growth. Earnings from leather footwear also marked a negative growth of 1.51 per cent with $128.78 mn earnings in the past two months. Frozen and live fish exports witnessed a negative growth of 30.23 per cent to $87.20 mn during the same period last fiscal, according to the data.