Bangladesh’s apparel export to the United States has stumbled in the first month of 2021 due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The country’s apparel export to the US, the largest export destination for Bangladesh, in January 2021 fell by 16.61 per cent to $519.37 million from $622.82 million in the same month of 2020, according to data of the US Department of Commerce’s Office of Textiles and Apparel.
Exporters said that overall consumption of apparels had decreased across the globe and woven products had experienced a sharp decline amid the pandemic.
The data showed that total apparel import by the US from the world dropped by 18.34 per cent in January 2021 to $5.52 billion from $6.76 billion in the same month of the previous year.
Bangladesh’s readymade garment export to the US in January decreased by $103 million in value and 20 million square metres in quantity compared with those in 2020.
The country’s RMG export to the US in the first month of 2021 fell by 9.32 per cent to 199 million square metres from 219 million square metres in the same month of 2020.
According to the OTEXA data, Bangladesh’s RMG export to the US in January 2020 grew by 17.03 per cent to $ 622.82 million from $531.70 million in the same month of 2019.
The US, the single largest destination for Bangladeshi RMG products, has been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, said former Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association vice-president Mahmud Hasan Khan Babu.
He said that the US was the largest market for Bangladeshi woven garments and the sub-sector (woven) witnessed a sharp decline in export growth during the pandemic when demand for the item came down to its worst-ever levels.
Along with the demand slowdown caused by the pandemic, increase in raw materials prices has also emerged as another challenge in retaining the growth of woven garments, Babu said.
Babu, also the managing director of Rising Group, said that export growth to the US market witnessed a big fall in January year-on-year but the situation had been improving in recent months compared with the situation seen five or six months ago.
He hoped that the country’s export to the US market would rebound in the months of July and June.
US apparel import from China in January 2021 declined by 19.90 per cent to $1.29 billion from $1.62 billion in the same month of the previous year.
Vietnam’s RMG export to the US in the first month of this year fell by 18.62 per cent to $1.07 billion from $1.31 billion in the same month of 2020.
US RMG import from Cambodia in January 2021 also decreased by 17.31 per cent to $229.61 million, the data showed.
US apparel import from India in January 2021 fell by 22.28 per cent to $ 288 million.
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