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COVID-19 pandemic hits Bangladesh sweater segment

Pandemic issues are impacting the sweater segment in Bangladesh. As almost 80 per cent of man-made sweater yarns are imported mostly from China, lockdown in the country has slowed down the import process of raw materials into Bangladesh. Bangladesh sweater exporters are in a dilemma as from November till February is an offseason period for the sweater factories when exports fall below 50 per cent of its installed capacity. Peak seasons which start from March till October changes that trend completely as during this period our factories are running on 100 percent capacities with many factories engaging 2 or 3 shifts or even subcontracting from authorized and approved factories.

But just as exporters were approaching peak season with huge orders booked till June and July, then suddenly Coronavirus halted exports. It is predicted that at present situation sweater orders may be completely wiped and many sweater factories will be out of production for the entire peak season. The result of which will be a calamity collapse of hundreds of sweater factories in Bangladesh and tens of thousands of workers will lose their jobs.

As per Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, in the fiscal year 2018-19, Bangladesh earned $4.25 billion from sweater export, which is 15.82 per cent higher compared to $3.67 billion the FY18.

Sweater manufacturers and trade analysts have opined that technological upgradation has contributed a lot to increase the export earnings, while extended winter expedites the growth.


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