COVID-19 hammers RMG exports for 3rd month

Staff Correspondent | Published: 21:36, May 31,2020


Bangladesh’s readymade garment export declined by more than 62 per cent in the first 29 days of May this year compared with that of corresponding period in last year as both the demand for and prices of apparel products decreased on the global market due to the coronavirus pandemic in most of the countries across the globe.

According to the National Board of Revenue provisional data compiled by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the RMG export in the 29 days of May this year declined by 62.09 per cent to $1.07 billion from $2.81 billion in the same period of 2019.

Exporters said that country’s RMG sector had been struggling as the coronavirus pandemic had cut both the demand for and the unit prices of products on the global market.

They said that RMG export in March-May of 2020 might fell to $5 billion, with possible unsettled liability of $2 billion for the country’s clothing sector.

According to the data, the country’s RMG export in April this year declined by 85.25 per cent to $374.67 million from $2.54 billion in the same month of 2019 due to shrinking demand for goods and suspension of production in the country due to the coronavirus outbreak.

RMG exports in March this year, when the coronavirus was first detected in the country, declined by 30.19 per cent to $1.97 billion from $2.82 billion in the same month of the last year.

Although the production has started in the country since April 26, factories have been running with limited number of workers due to health concerns and fall in demand in the all export markets, exporters said.

‘COVID-19 has changed the face of global business and has taken it to a point of uncertainty. But while we face challenges, we look forward to new opportunities to fight the battle, win and sustain,’ BGMEA president Rubana Huq told New Age on Sunday.

She said that all the export markets experienced fall between 8 per cent and 22 per cent and unit value decreased by 0.90 per cent from the US and 1.87 per cent from the European Union during the pandemic.

Rubana said that order cancellations and putting on hold accounted for $499 million from the US and $1.55 billion from the EU due to the virus outbreak.

She apprehended that export worth $3 billion would remain unpaid or deferred up to the next six months.

Citing a study conducted by McKinsey, the BGMEA president said that COVID-19 would wipe off $297 billion from the global apparel value in 2020.

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