Tuesday, April 16, 2024

May exports defy RMG disaster

But annual target too far
The government is set to miss the export earning target by around $1.2 billion in the current fiscal year although export in May rebounded strongly despite the
deadly collapse of Rana Plaza garment units in April.
The country’s export earnings in the eleven months of the current FY 2012-13 totalled $24.32 billion, with a 10.67-per cent growth compared with the same period of the last financial year, against the target of $28 billion for the year, according to the data of Export Promotion Bureau released on Sunday.
The export earnings in May stood at $2.53 billion growing by 15.43-per cent from $2.2 billion in the same month of the last financial year.
Although export earnings in July-May were 3.33 per cent short of the target of $25.16 billion, economists said that the 10.67-per cent rise in export was relatively better considering the slowdown in the major markets in Europe.
The main earning sector, readymade garment, fetched around $19.3 billion in 11 months despite two deadly incidents of fire in and collapse of garment units in November, 2012 and April, 2013 in which more than 1,400 workers were killed.
The garment sector is under severe pressure to ensure workplace safety after the incidents.
Economists and exporters said that the export growth of 15.43 per cent in May was encouraging as the earning growth in April had dipped to six-month low to 9.95 per cent.
The growth in the export earnings in May of the last FY 2011-12 was negative 4.17 per cent.
The export earnings in May, however, fell 3.54 per cent short of the target of $2.63 billion.
With the current trend in export the total earning by June might stand at around $26.8-$26.90 billion.
Economists and exporters said the export earnings were growing as the US and the EU were recovering from their economic meltdown and the exports to those countries had been increasing
They also said that a good number of orders were shifted from China to Bangladesh which helped the positive growth in the period.
Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue, said the performance of woven garments in the EU market was encouraging which helped to continue the export growth.
He hoped that it would possible to continue the growth as the flow of orders for autumn and winter was satisfactory.
‘Now we have to pay attention to solve some problems like political turmoil which can disrupt the current growth rate,’ Mustafiz said.
According to the EPB data, the major export items, woven garments and knitwear, continued their growth.
The export growth of woven garments was 14.10 per cent in July-May of this financial year.
The export earnings from woven garments amounted to $9.92 billion which was 1.45 per cent more than the target of $9.81 billion.
The export growth in knitwear in eleven months of current financial year grew by 9.56 per cent from that in the same period of the last financial year.
The export earnings from knitwear amounted to $9.39 billion which was about $8.57 billion in the same period of the last financial year.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association vice-president Shahidullah Azim said that there were two major reasons to maintain the export earning growth – one was increased exports to the EU markets and another was order shifting to Bangladesh from China.
A good numbers of orders have been shifted from China as the country is moving their production to high-end and high-tech from the basic production, he said.
Azim observed that if the political situation remained calm, the country’s export earnings would have crossed the target.
He said that the affect of Rana Plaza incident was not seen in May export figure as the order for the months were taken few months back. ‘It would take few more months to see the fallout of the deadly incident,’ he said.
The EPB data showed that footwear export earnings in eleven months of the current fiscal year were $377.55 million with a 25.14-per cent growth.
Leather export earnings amounted to $362.97 million with a 19.83-per cent growth while the export earnings from leather products stood at $136.44 million with a 63.83-per cent growth.
The export earnings from jute and jute goods in July-May period of the current fiscal year stood at $947.91 million with a 6.57-per cent growth.
The export earnings from agricultural products totalled $483.12 million with a 35.29-per cent growth.
The export earnings from engineering products including iron steel, copper wire, stainless steel ware, engineering equipment, electric products and bicycle amounted to $343 million with a 6.02-per cent growth in July-May of the current financial year.
Frozen food fetched $489.40 million with an 11.56-per cent negative growth in the period.

-With New Age input

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