Bangladesh's garment exporters expect a slow rebound of shipment to the US market, as American buyers have been consumed by a confidence deficit amid an economic meltdown lurking round the corner, says OTEXA. Due to the pandemic, Bangladesh’s garment exports to the US plunged by 12.50 per cent year-on-year to $2.32 billion in the January-May period of this year. Though retail stores in the country have started opening up gradually, it will take a lot of time for normalcy to return as consumers are still staying at home amid the fear of contagion.
Though exporters expect to get 70 per cent of the work orders they had received at the same time last year, everything depends on the invention of a vaccine. Apparel exports by Bangladesh were positive in 2019 but after the coronavirus broke out, orders from the US nosedived, said Mostafa Sobhan Rubel, Managing Director, Dragon Sweaters. Almost half the products of his company are destined to the US.
Many of his customers have complained of stores not logging the expected sales even after the lockdown was withdrawn in most US states. Besides, new orders from existing customers have also dropped by almost 60 per cent due to the current second wave of infections and a lack of confidence among buyers in the throes of fears of an economic meltdown and job losses. However, Rubel expects the US market to rebound strongly in 2021 as American buyers and importers are looking for an alternative to China because of the political conflict between the two economic powerhouses" he added. Rubaina Huq, President, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, also expects a faster rebound of apparel shipment to the US market.