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Bangladesh RMG export figures remain buoyant

Bangladeshi garment manufacturers remain on track to expand their exports this year. Competitive prices have kept demand from western customers high. The country has targeted $26.9 billion in garment exports for fiscal 2014-15. Bangladesh’s exports of garment products were 13.86 per cent higher than in the previous fiscal despite a prolonged political crisis and two major industrial disasters.

But exports of woven garment declined by 4.14 per cent in July and knitwear export grew only by 4.32 per cent. Also, garment exports grew a tepid 0.1 per cent last month from a year earlier, the smallest increase in 23 months.

Export growth will remain low up to September due to the after-effects of last year's political crisis. Also retailers seem to be looking for alternative destinations. Among other problems, the steep appreciation of the local currency against the dollar is another woe for the garment sector now.

Retailers are still with Bangladesh, but the country needs to complete the unfinished work like relocation of factories and following compliances set by retailers. The government and garment makers also need to look at the small and medium factories, so that the garment sector performs well. Otherwise the outlook for Bangladeshi apparel exports this year continues to drive demand across the global cotton and textile supply chain in 2014-’15.