Export earnings are on a negative trend as global apparel retailers have recently stopped placing orders on the price negotiation issue
Export earnings in the first four months of the current fiscal dropped by 6.82 percent year-on-year to $12.72 billion due to the poor shipment of apparel items.
Exporters linked the continuous negative growth to the appreciation of taka against the US currency, the economic slowdown in Europe and the ongoing trade tension between the United States and China.
The price negotiation was another big reason that held back the work order flow from the buyers, they added.
BGMEA President Rubana Huq told the Business Standard that Bangladeshi apparel exporters are losing a competitive edge in the global market as production cost increased by 30 percent in the last four years.
Export earnings are on a negative trend as global apparel retailers have recently stopped placing orders on the price negotiation issue.
The July-October period is usually a dull season for the apparel shipment, said Sayeed Ahmad Chowdhury, general manager (Operation) of Square Denim Limited.
"We are hopeful to come back to positive growth as the buyers have already started placing import orders, said Sayeed.
According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, Bangladesh earned $13.65 billion during the same period a year ago.
The earning in this period also fell short of the strategic target by 11.21 percent, said the EPB data released on Tuesday.
The apparel sector, which accounts for 84 percent of total exports, witnessed a 6.67 percent decline to $10.59 billion in the first four months of the current fiscal year, which was $11.33 billion in the same period last year.
As per the data, knitwear products earned $5.53 billion, down by 5.73 percent, which was $5.87 billion in 2018 July-October, while woven goods fetched $5.04 billion, posting a 7.67 percent fall against $5.46 billion in the same period last year.
The thriving leather and footwear sector is also struggling in the global market like the previous months.
Shipment of leather and leather goods fetched $316 million in July-October, an 8.2 percent lower than the amount in the same period of the previous fiscal.
Frozen and live fish, once emerged as potential items, also continue the negative trend and earned only $181 million in the period which is 7.84 percent lower than the same of the previous year.
Amidst the negative export trend of major products, jute and jute goods in the first four months grew by 8.88 percent year-on-year to $314 million.