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RMG exports fetch $1.57b in 18 days as buyers reviving orders

Staff Correspondent | Published: 23:33, Jul 19,2020

 
 

A file photo shows labourers wearing facemasks working in a garment factory as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Dhaka recently. The country’s readymade garment exports in the first 18 days of July stood at $1.57 billion as the global buyers started reviving orders in a big way. — AFP photo

The country’s readymade garment exports in the first 18 days of July stood at $1.57 billion as the global buyers started reviving orders in a big way.

Exporters said that although the export earnings were still lower than the amount earned in the same period of last year, the shipment of RMG products worth $1.57 billion in the 18 days was a positive sign for the country as the RMG sector had lost earnings worth $4.33 billion in the March-June period of this year due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

According to the provisional data prepared by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association compiling statistics from the National Board of Revenue, the RMG exports in the first 18 days of July this year declined by 11.74 per cent to $1.57 billion from $1.78 billion in the same period of last year.

‘The export trend in July is encouraging as exporters are feeling pressure for additional shipments this month due to the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha vacation but it might take a slow pace in August,’ Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh executive director Ahsan H Mansur said.

He said that the country’s export earnings would have to face a shock until the vaccine for coronavirus was available in the world as the second wave of infection had started in some countries.

‘We should be happy if we could run our RMG factories with 70-8o per cent capacity up to September,’ Mansur said.

‘The deceleration in export decline is certainly a positive sign of hope for the industry, however, this may not necessarily indicate new order placements by the buyers but reinstatement of the cancellations happened immediately after the COVID-19 has hit,’ Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association president Rubana Huq told New Age on Sunday.

She said that this might be noted that the industry had lost $4.33 billion worth of exports during March-June, and the growth was still below the positive trend.

Rubana said that new orders also were being placed but it was not enough for most factories to run on full capacity.

‘Order placement is up to 60 per cent compared to last year and a total recovery will take up to the middle of next year,’ she said.

Mohammad Hatem, first vice-president of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said that the global buyers had started reinstating their cancelled or on-hold orders as the severity of cronavirus pandemic decreased in the European Union and some other export destinations.

He said that the global buyers revived 70-80 per cent of orders which were cancelled or put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Hatem said that the placing of new orders had begun but it was 60 per cent compared with the last year’s orders.

‘We are happy as buyers started reviving most of their  cancelled orders and now we are running our factories with 70-80 per cent capacity,’ Mahmud Hasan Khan Babu, managing director of Rising Group, told New Age.

No doubt, it is a positive sign that shipments in the 18 days of July stood at $1.57 billion amid the pandemic, he said.

Mahmud said that the factories would be able to sustain if they continued their operations with 70-80 per cent capacity.

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