December 7, 2021, 2:06 am

Staff Correspondent

2021-07-04 08:54:06 BdST

BD's apparel exports to US claw back

Country's apparel exports to the United States bounced back during the first five months of this calendar year, registering a double-digit growth both in terms of value and volume compared to the same period of last year.

The exports to the single largest destination returned to the positive territory after facing a setback for some time due to the Covid-19 pandemic, industry insiders said.

The readymade garment (RMG) exports to the USA grew by 15.38 percent to US$ 2.58 billion during the period from January to May this year than that of the same period last year, according to statistics released on Friday.

Bangladesh had fetched $ 2.24 billion during the corresponding period of 2020, according to the figures available with the Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA), an affiliate of the US Department of Commerce.

Apparel exporters said the industry registered better performance due to the start of economic recovery aided by the good coverage of Covid-19 vaccination, better control in coronavirus infection, and a shift of orders from China.

During the first five months of the 2021 calendar year, Bangladesh shipped 1.02 billion square meters of apparel items, up from 807.67 million square meters or 27.30 percent.

The RMG exports to the USA stood at $5.22 billion in 2020, down from $5.92 billion in 2019, according to the data.

The overall apparel imports of the USA from across the world during the period under review also increased by 22.19 per cent to US$ 29.21 billion from $23.91 billion during the same period in 2020, data showed.

During this period, the US apparel imports from China witnessed 26.17 percent growth to US$ 5.82 billion, which was $4.61 billion during the corresponding period of last calendar year.

US imports from Vietnam and Cambodia also witnessed a growth of 19.48 percent and 15.35 percent to $5.74 billion and $ 1.24 billion respectively year-on-year during the period.

Apparel exports from other major sourcing destinations including India, Mexico, and Pakistan also grew by over 21 percent to 58 percent except Indonesia that was maintaining a negative growth of 1.75 percent.

Md Shahidullah Azim, vice president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), said the US economy is slowly recovering from the adverse impact of Covid-19 with the rise in consumer spending.

Besides, the US buyers have shifted some of their orders from China to Bangladesh while exports from India to US suffered due to the deteriorating Covid-19 situation, he added.

He, however, hoped that local RMG exports to USA will increase further with the return of one of its big companies - the Walt Disney - to Bangladesh.

Disney that stopped sourcing from Bangladesh eight years back will reinstate Bangladesh as its permitted sourcing country, he said.

He added that it would also help to regain the image of the industry that has made significant improvements in the areas of workplace safety and other issues.

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