In the first four months (July to October) of the current 2020-21 fiscal, exports totalled USD 12.84 million (USD1.284 crore), which was only .97 per cent higher than that of the corresponding period of the last fiscal, EPB statistics revealed in an update on Monday.
Export volume of leather and leather goods alongside readymade garments declined, causing the fall in export growth. However, there was a 2.58 per cent export growth in the first three months of the current fiscal year.
Exports were hit hard in April with the outbreak of the coronavirus leading to the cancelation of purchase and closure of factories.
Then in June export earnings started climbing and in the next month export revenue reached USD 3.91 billion (USD391 crore) and then USD 2.97 billion (USD 297) and USD 3.02 billion (USD 302 crore) in August and September respectively.
In October exports totalled USD 2.95 billion (USD 295 crore) which is four per cent down from October last year.
According to EPB, 81.34 percent of the total exports came from readymade garments in the first four months of the fiscal 2020-21. Exports stood at USD 1.45 billion which is 1.2 per cent less than the corresponding period of the last fiscal.
Knitwear of USD 5.80 billion (USD 580 crore) was exported. This was a 4.6 per cent growth. Woven garment items of USD 4.64 billion (USD 464 crore) were exported which was a 7.76 per cent decrease the same period of the last fiscal.
Md Hatem, president of BKMEA, told Prothom Alo that said the second wave of coronavirus has already hit several countries of Europe and America. Lockdown was being imposed in various countries ahead of the possible second wave and thus the brands and buying houses were not sending the expected purchase orders. He said it was difficult to say whether RMG export will take a positive turn in the next few months.
Though there is fluctuation in RMG exports, the export of jute and jute goods is on a rise over the last few months. Yet closure of the state-owned jute mills was announced in July.
Several businessmen, however, think the second wave of coronavirus in the US and Europe may have a negative impact on exports
In the first quarter (July to October), jute and jute goods worth USD 438.7 million (USD43.87 crore) were exported, which is higher by 39.50 per cent than that of the corresponding period of the last fiscal.
Around 49 per cent export earnings came from jute yarn and 75 per cent from jute bags during the same period.
According to the EPB, leather and leather goods worth USD 280 million (USD 28 crore) were exported during the first four months of the current fiscal while it was USD 310 million (USD 31 crore) in the same period of the last fiscal. That means export volume declined 10.63 per cent, the EPB said in its data.
Export revenue from leather and the leather goods was declining due to the shifting of the tanneries from Hazaribagh to Hemayetpur in Savar before the coronavirus pandemic. Now the sector has plunged into a worse situation.
Though the exports of garments, leather and leather products are on a declining trend, exports of frozen food, agro-processed products, home textiles, engineering, chemical products and handicrafts are on an increase.
Several businessmen, however, think the second wave of coronavirus in the US and Europe may have a negative impact on exports.