Bangladesh: Exports remain robust in September

DHAKA (The Daily Star/ANN) - Garments fetched $2.45 billion in September, up 48.15 percent from a year earlier. 

Overseas shipments brought home upwards of $3 billion for the third straight month in September -- an encouraging sign as the country chases its highest export target yet this fiscal year.

Last month, export receipts came to $3.15 billion, up 55.17 percent from a year earlier but down 1.89 percent from the previous month, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau.

September's receipts take the tally so far this fiscal year to $9.94 billion -- 6.54 percent higher than the export target for the quarter.

The export target for fiscal 2018-19 is $39 billion, 6.38 percent higher than last year's takings.
“This year's September export growth looks impressive because last year's earnings were low,” said Siddiqur Rahman, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the apex body of the sector that typically accounts for more than 80 percent of the receipts.

Export receipts in September last year stood at $2.03 billion.

Last year, the shipment of goods had ground to a halt in September due to the collapse of gantry cranes at Chittagong port and Eid holidays, he said.

Garment fetched $2.45 billion in September, up 48.15 percent from a year earlier but down 10.26 percent from the previous month.

Buyers' confidence on Bangladeshi garment manufacturers has come back after the near completion of factory remediation, said Faruque Hassan, managing director of Giant Apparels, a leading garment exporter.

“Bangladesh's workplace safety is better than many other countries now after remediation.”

The momentum though can come off due to gas price hike and political unrest ahead of national election, said Hassan, also the vice-president of the BGMEA. Promising sectors like leather and leather goods and jute and jute goods though missed their quarterly target.

Export of leather and leather goods fell 17.46 percent to $267.94 million and jute and jute goods 8.15 percent to $216.87 million. Apart from garment, shipment of home textile increased 4.80 percent in the first quarter of fiscal 2018-19 to $202.99 million.

Export of terry towel grew 49.22 percent to $13.43 million, ceramics 271.85 percent to $39.90 million, furniture 68.98 percent to $18.03million and agricultural products 97.31 percent to $291.82 million.

Frozen and live fish export fell 18.17 percent to $137.70 million and bicycle shipments 21.86 percent to $17.09 million in the July-September period.

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