Bangladesh’s apparel exports flourished in May 2019, jumping to a receipt of over $3 bn, after seeing slowdown during the first quarter due to labour unrest. According to a latest data, July-May 2019 period saw exports of $31.7 bn – a gain of 12.8 per cent on a year-to-year basis. Last year same period saw exports of $28.1 bn.

For the month of May alone, the exports receipt amounted to $3.3 bn. Last month, the receipt was $2.54 bn. Back in March the export was $2.82 bn. In February this was $2.9 bn followed by $2.4 bn in January. Notably, apparel manufacturers say that falling prices of apparel exports is hurting the industry most at this point of time. With fair pricing policies, the export growth could have been much higher than what is being witnessed.

Further analysis shows, knitwear registered a receipt of $1.68 bn for the month of April. During the July-May period, the total receipt stood at $15.68 bn, up by 12.5 per cent. Compared to the $1.68 bn receipt in May, knitwear witnessed a receipt of $1.24 bn in April, $1.31 bn in March, $1.35 bn in February, $1.5 bn in January and $1.3 bn in December.

Woven segment, on the other hand, witnessed a receipt of $1.65 bn, just a tad lower than that of what the knitwear segment fetched, in May. During the July-May period, the total receipt stood at $16.05 bn, with a gain of 13.1 per cent. In March, export receipt in this segment stood over $1.5 bn. This value was $1.55 bn in February, and $1.6 bn in both January and December.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh is eying to benefit from the US ending India’s GSP. Bangladesh may see increased exports to US markets as the Donald Trump administration terminates preferential trade facilities for India, a close competitor of the country. Bangladesh already has registered double digit growth in the US market due to the US-China trade war, which opened up opportunities for Bangladeshi exporters.

Bangladesh is the fourth largest exporter of apparel and textile goods worth $5.60 bn. There will be positive impact on Bangladesh exports to US market but it may be temporary as the US is cutting trade facilities to renegotiate the trade benefits bilaterally. Bangladesh has to think of diversifying its goods and concentrating on connecting the buyers, who are currently sourcing from the Indian manufacturers to reap the full benefits. Bangladeshi importers from India can benefit from the cut of trade facilities as there will be scope for price negotiation.