The country’s apparel exports to the United States in 2019 registered a moderate growth riding on the excellent performance of readymade garment products in the first half of the year.
Apparel exports to the US in last year grew by 9.83 per cent to $5.93 billion from $5.40 billion in the year 2018, according to data of the Office of Textiles and Apparel under the US Department of Commerce, released on Wednesday.
Exporters said that the export growth in the US in the first half of 2019 was a first-rate on and the second half of the year witnessed a gradual slowdown in growth.
They said that RMG exports to the US in 2019 registered a 9.83-per cent growth due to a first-rate growth in the first half of the year.
The OTEXA data showed that Bangladesh’s RMG export to the US in January-June of 2019 stood at $3.08 billion, which is 14.49 per cent higher than $2.69 billion in the same period of 2018.
Apparel export to the US in the second half (July-December) of 2019 grew by only 5.19 per cent to $2.85 billion from $2.71 billion in the same period of 2018, according to the data.
‘We failed to achieve the required export growth in the US market in 2019 as we could not take advantage of the US-China trade war,’ Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association first vice-president Mohammad Hatem told New Age on Thursday.
He said that the export growth to the US market was satisfactory until the first half of 2019 but it declined in the second half of the year.
Hatem said that the export growth of Vietnam and Cambodia, two competing countries of Bangladesh, to the US were much higher than Bangladesh as they grabbed most of the business shifted from China due to the trade war.
He expressed his worry over the competitiveness eroding of Bangladesh due to increasing production cost and overvalued local currency and said that export might decline more in the coming months.
Although the US import of apparel from China declined by 9.10 per cent in 2019, the import still remained the highest.
The US apparel import from China in 2019 decreased to $24.88 billion from $27.37 billion in 2018.
Vietnam’s RMG export to the US in 2019 grew by 11.01 per cent to $13.56 billion from $12.22 billion in 2018, the OTEXA data showed.
The US apparel import from India in 2019 stood at $4.06 billion with a 6.80-per cent growth while the import from Indonesia fell by 1.68 per cent to $4.40 billion in the year.
Apparel exports of Cambodia in 2019 grew by 11.29 per cent to $2.68 billion while the exports of Mexico to the US in the year fell by 6.49 per cent to $312 billion, the data showed.