As per the US Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA), Bangladesh denim exports to the US declined 4 per cent last year to $561 million. However, it was enough to increase Bangladesh’s market share by 5.7 per cent to about 20 per cent. Mexico’s share contracted 16.7 per cent from 21.5 per cent last year while that of China shrunk by 1.9 per cent from 18.6 per cent a year earlier. However, Vietnam’s share increased and it now stands at number three position, a notch above China.
In the last few years, Bangladesh witnessed a huge amount of investment in denim fabric manufacturing, which increased the country's production capacity to reduce import dependency for fabrics, said Sayeed Ahmad Chowdhury, Director, Square Denim.
There are 32 mills producing denim fabrics for the export-oriented denim manufacturers, according to the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association. In addition, the US-China trade conflict and the relocation of Chinese investment helped Bangladesh to grab more market share.
The US policy on banning procurement of cotton and even raw materials from China's Xinjiang region also proved as a blessing for Bangladesh, said Sharif Zahir, Managing Director, Ananta Denim Technology.
However, the prices of goods is a big concern for the exporters: the raw material prices have gone up but the buyers are not calibrating their prices, Zahir added.
To attract buyers' attention and present products to global consumers, manufacturers need to promote through exhibitions, added Mostafiz Uddin, founder of the Bangladesh Denim Expo.
The expos inform local manufacturers of the latest trends and also brought in technological know-how.