Because of the country's downbeat export earnings in a single month, i.e. October, a good number of traders may start feeling jittery. Will this decline in export proceeds last longer or just be a one-off development? Given the decline in the country's export earnings amid the fears of anticipated and unanticipated fallouts from the Russia-Ukraine conflicts, the exporters' edginess is quite natural. Moreover, the contraction in the country's export earnings comes to the fore hot on the heels of drop in remittance and record depreciation of Taka against greenback. However, the trade experts find no twist of abnormality in the present headwind facing the country's export earnings. It's because the export destinations, especially the European Union, are finding themselves in an economic crisis as well.
Despite the fear of the Bangladesh exporters that they may have to grapple with an adverse situation vis-à-vis its export earnings, they ought to remind themselves of the fact that the country is facing the 'adversities' after enjoying a comfortable time during the July-October period. The overall export earnings grew remarkably in the present fiscal. To focus on a particular export item, the apparel goods saw a 3.27 per cent growth during the period to $3.67 billion. In the said four months of this fiscal, however, the export earnings slowed down by 7.01 per cent to $16.85 billion over $15.74 billion in the corresponding period last fiscal.
As being seen in the global trading, especially during turbulent times, it has its unique ups and downs. Perhaps as part of this, proceeds declined 7.52 per cent in September to $3.16 billion year-on-year from exports after a robust growth for 13 months from August 2021. If the largest export sector --- the RMG --- is taken into consideration, it has alone earned $13.95 billion, showing 10.55 per cent growth compared to the last fiscal's. Coming to the evaluation of what the clothing sector has attained, the picture shows the knit-wear sub-sector of the RMG earning $7.72 billion from exports, posting a 7.14 per cent growth. At the same time, earnings from the woven garment exports reached a figure of $6.22 billion in the past two months, up by 15.08 per cent.
Candidly citing these developments, a BGMEA director doesn't hesitate to admit that in spite of the prediction that the RMG sector was in for a slowdown in October, its future turn-around couldn't be put aside. The October `21 export earnings could be termed a phenomenal leap, when Bangladesh tasted its highest ever single-month earnings. True, many exporters are quitting the leather and leather goods sector for various reasons but export earnings from it have increased by 17.42 per cent to $428.46 million from $364.9 million in the last fiscal. Even at a time when some countries are churning out newly innovated synthetic leather footwear, the earnings of Bangladesh grew by 19.14 per cent to $269.43 million. The fancy leather products have fetched $114.11 million in export earnings. This area has witnessed 18.51 per cent growth. Frozen and live fish has started regaining their earlier status from a slump, as a result of which export earnings from this sector marked a sharp fall. The demand for a number of non-RMG export items has been falling in recent months. This development is primarily viewed as a negative one in the context of the country's longing for export diversification. But a turnaround, as the BGMEA official assured, cannot be ruled out. The policymakers ought to prepare the right strategies for meeting the challenges before export-oriented industries during this critical period.