5 years ago

RMG export to US grows 11.8pc in Jan-Aug period

Orders shifting from China due to US-China trade war

- FE file photo
- FE file photo

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The country's readymade garment (RMG) export to the US during first eight months of 2019 registered 11.81 per cent growth to $4.08 billion compared to that of 2018, according to official data.

Bangladesh fetched $3.65 billion during January-August period of 2018, according to data of the Office of Textiles and Apparel under the US Department of Commerce released on Friday.

Experts and exporters have attributed the growth to shifting work orders from China due to the rising cost there and ongoing trade war between the US and China.

A recent study of Asian Development Bank also said that the trade war between China and the US has become a boon for Bangladesh and the country has started benefiting since 2017 when the trade tensions between the world's two largest economies flared up.

The US imported a total of $4.23 billion in textile and apparel items from Bangladesh during January-August period of 2019, it showed.

After the Rana Plaza building collapse in 2013, Bangladesh's apparel exports to US declined in 2014 and stood at $4.83 billion which was $4.95 billion in 2013.

In 2015, exports grew to $5.40 billion but continued declining in next two consecutive years.

In 2017 and 2018, the country earned $5.06 billion and $5.40 billion respectively from garment exports to US, according to OTEXA data.

A recent study conducted by the US Fashion Industry Association (USFIA), however, revealed that Bangladesh has slipped one point to the sixth position as a sourcing destination for US-based apparel and fashion companies in 2019 despite the fact that the majority of buyers surveyed have expressed interest to increase their sourcing from the country.

When asked Mohammad Hatem, the newly elected first vice president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), said that the orders are shifting from China mainly for two reasons-one is for the ongoing trade war between US and China.

Basic or low-end work orders from China have been shifting and Bangladesh is bagging those, he said, adding that but the orders for high-end items are shifting to Vietnam contributing its higher growth.

On the other hand, the US import of apparel from China was still high though witnessed a sluggish 1.99 per cent growth to $17.55 billion during the period.

Meanwhile, the garment exports of Vietnam grew by 12.17 per cent to $9.06 billion and India witnessed 8.19 per cent rise to $2.94 billion during the same period.

Indonesian apparel exports registered a 0.37 per cent negative growth to $3.0 billion during the period.

Apparel exports of Cambodia to US in January-August period of 2019 grew by 8.58 per cent to $ 1.72 billion while the exports of Mexico fell by 3.58 per cent to $ 2.17 billion, the OTEXA data showed.

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