Bangladesh’s export earnings fell by 11.74 per cent in August this year compared with that in the same month of last year because of Eid-ul-Azha holidays.
Total export earnings in August stood at $3.21 billion against $3.64 billion in the same month of last year.
Earnings from readymade garment export in August, 2018 decreased by 10.76 per cent to $2.71 billion from $3.04 billion in the same month of 2017, according to Export Promotion Bureau data released on Tuesday.
Experts and exporters attributed the fall in export earnings in the month of August to the suspension of production and shipment of products for about 10 days during Eid-ul-Azha holidays.
Eid-ul-Azha, one of the biggest Muslim religious festivals, was celebrated across the country in the third week of August.
The country’s overall export earnings in July-August period of the current financial year (2018-19), however, achieved a minimal growth of 2.51 per cent with $6.79 billion against $6.62 billion in the same period of last fiscal year, the EPB data showed.
‘Eid holidays were the main reason for the negative export earnings growth in the month of August as the vacation halted RMG shipment for almost 10 days,’ Centre for Policy Dialogue distinguished fellow Mustafizur Rahman told New Age on Tuesday.
Once the export data for September is available, it would be clear whether or not there were other internal factors behind the negative export growth in August, he said.
Mustafiz, however, said that the global market was becoming more competitive as new players were entering the market.
‘Bangladesh needs radical improvement in productivity, ease of doing business and maintaining lead time to remain competitive in the global market,’ he suggested.
The EPB data showed that earnings from RMG product export in July-August of
FY19 grew by 3.82 per cent to $5.73 billion from $5.52 billion in the same period of FY18.
Earnings from knitwear export grew by 1.53 per cent to $2.91 billion from $2.86 billion.
The export earnings from woven garments in the first two months of FY19 grew by 6.28 per cent to $2.82 billion from $2.65 billion in the same period of FY18.
Faruque Hassan, senior vice-president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said that fewer consignments than usual were shipped in the month of August due to Eid holidays.
He said that export earnings witnessed a significant growth in July as a good number of consignments meant for June shipment were shipped in July due to Eid-ul-Fitr holidays in June.
‘Our export growth will increase in September as some of the consignments meant for August shipment have been shipped in September due to Eid-ul-Azha holidays in August,’ Faruque said.
He hoped that the export earnings growth would fully recover in the month of October.
According to the EPB data, earnings from and leather product exports in July-August of FY19 fell by 26.26 per cent to $183 million from $248.16 million in the same period of FY18.
Earnings from leather footwear also witnessed a negative growth of 1.51 per cent with earnings of $128.78 million in July-August of FY19.
Earnings from home textile witnessed a negative growth of 4.53 per cent to $134.35 million in July-August of FY19 from $140.73 million in the same period of FY18.
Export earnings from jute and jute goods in the first two months of FY19 fell by 15.57 per cent to $131.13 million from $155.31 million in the same period of last fiscal year.
Exports of frozen and live fish in July-August of the current fiscal year witnessed a negative growth of 30.23 per cent to stand at $87.20 million compared with that of $124.99 million in the same period of FY18.