Exports grow by 7.23pc in Q1 amid Sept slump

A file photo shows workers sewing clothes at a readymade garment factory in Dhaka. Country’s export earnings in September of the current financial year 2017-18 declined by 9.83 per cent after a strong growth in the first two months of the fiscal year — 26.54 per cent in July and 10.71 per cent in August. — New Age photo

Country’s export earnings in September of the current financial year 2017-18 declined by 9.83 per cent after a strong growth in the first two months of the fiscal year — 26.54 per cent in July and 10.71 per cent in August.
Due to the strong growth in the first two months of the fiscal year, export earnings in the first quarter of FY18 grew by 7.23 per cent to $8.66 billion compared with that of $8.07 billion in the same period of the FY 2016-17, according to the Export Promotion Bureau data released on Sunday.
Experts and exporters said the export earnings’ growth in September was negative as the production and shipment of readymade garments and other products remained suspended for almost one week in the month due to the Eid-ul-Azha vacation.
Export earnings in September decreased to $2.03 billion from $2.25 billion in the same month of FY17.
The earnings in the third month of FY18 fell short by 26.72 per cent of the target ($2.77 billion) set by the government for the month, the EPB data showed.
The earnings in July-September were 2.84 per cent lower than the target of $8.91 billion set by the government for the period.
The EPB data showed that the earnings from RMG product exports in the first quarter of FY18 grew by 7.17 per cent to $7.14 billion from $6.66 billion in the same period of FY17.
‘Country’s export earnings are not up to the mark. Though the earnings in September witnessed a negative growth because of lower shipment of products due to Eid vacation, the country needs double-digit growth to attain the target set by the government,’ Policy Research Institute executive director Ahsan H Mansur told New Age.
He, however, said that the global export outlook was positive this year while the overall global export was negative in last year.
Mansur said that to achieve the export earnings target Bangladesh would have to diversify export products.
Some policy intervention from the government like extending bonded warehouse to all export sectors is important to increase export and to ensure diversification of products, he said.
Export earnings from knitwear in July-September of FY18 rose by 10.18 per cent to $3.74 billion from $3.4 billion in the same period of FY17.
The earnings from woven in the first quarter grew by 4.04 per cent to $3.40 billion from $3.26 billion in the same period of FY17.
Md Siddiqur Rahman, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said that country’s export earnings in the month of September registered a negative growth due to the week-long Eid vacation in the RMG factories.
He said that lower production and shipment resulted in the negative growth in the month but more than 9 per cent fall was alarming.
‘We will have to wait until November or December to get a concrete picture of the trend in the country’s export earnings,’ the BGMEA president said.
The EPB data showed leather and leather product exports in the first quarter of FY18 grew by 1.74 per cent to $324.62 million compared with that of $319.06 million in the same period of FY17.
Earnings from leather footwear export in July-September of FY18 grew by 4.89 per cent to $166.13 million from $158.39 million in the same period of FY17 while the earnings from leather products increased by 19.27 per cent to $111.64 million.
Frozen food and fish exports in July-September of FY18 grew by 23.08 per cent to $168.27 million from $136.72 million.
The EPB data showed that earnings from jute and jute goods in the first quarter of FY18 grew by 15.46 per cent to $236.12 million from $204.51 million in the same period of FY17.

Source: New Age

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