Prothom Alo
Exports cross $5b-mark for 4th straight month

Exports cross $5b-mark for 4th straight month

The merchandise exports have been above the threshold of $5 billion for the fourth consecutive month as the country registered exports worth $5.1 billion in March. There was an year-on-year increase of 9.88 per cent in exports in March, according to the latest data released by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) on Tuesday. The cumulative growth in exports from July to March of the fiscal year 2023-24 showed a modest uptick and stood at 4.39 per cent, with exports totaling $43.55 billion.The growth rate still falls short of the target set for the first nine months of the fiscal year by 5.86 per cent. The exports totaled at $55.56 billion in the previous fiscal, while the target for the current fiscal is $62.00 billion. According to the EPB data, the top export sector – readymade garments – showed resilience in the previous month, along with increased exports of agricultural processed products and plastic goods. The other sectors, including leather and leather products, jute and jute goods, home textiles, frozen foods, and engineering products, experienced declines and kept the overall growth rate below the threshold of 5 per cent.The ready-made garments sector showcased robust performance in the current fiscal, with a total exports of $37.20 billion in the first nine months. The figure is up by 11.71 per cent compared to that of the previous fiscal’s corresponding period. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said their exports reached $4.34 billion in March alone, showing a year-on-year rise of 11.71 per cent. Mohammad Hatem, executive president of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), noted a slight increase in orders from foreign buyers.“My factory is now operating at its 50 per cent production capacity and it will rise to 60 per cent after Eid due to a slight increase in orders. However, there are some factories that are operating at their full capacity,” he said. Still, the BKMEA leader is reluctant to expect a robust turnaround in exports of the readymade garment sector in the coming days. The leather and jute sectors are yet to return to the positive trend. Exports of the jute and jute products have been recorded at $790 million in the first nine months of the current fiscal, with an year-on-year decline of 13.65 per cent. A similar scenario persists in the jute sector as its exports fell by 5.6 per cent to $660 million during the period.Khondaker Golam Moazzem, research director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), described the 4 per cent growth in exports amidst foreign exchange reserve constraints in a positive note, though it is comparatively lower than the growth of previous years. “The export growth will continue to see fluctuations for some more days, as the EU nations, major markets for Bangladeshi products, have been in different sorts of uncertainties. Therefore, the growth target may remain unachieved after the current year,” he said. Khondaker Golam Moazzem further noted that the European nations are going to put forth various rules and regulations regarding labour and human rights. The stakeholders, including the entrepreneurs, need to be aware of the particular issues as any failure in compliance may invite various challenges to them.
Published on: 2024-04-03 19:05:03.930875 +0200 CEST