Country’s exports slid 0.12pc to $28.93b in July-March
The country's exports slid slightly by 0.12 per cent to $28.93 billion in the first nine months of the current fiscal year (FY) 2020-21 amid the raging Covid-19 pandemic, according to the latest data of the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).
Export earnings were $28.97 billion during July-March period of FY 2019-20.
However the export earnings rose by 12.59 per cent to $3.07 billion in March compared to the same month last year when Bangladesh fetched $2.73 billion from exports.
The export earnings in this March, however, fell short of the target by 10.79 per cent, according to the latest Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data.
Meanwhile, exporters, especially those of ready-made garment (RMG) sector, opined that the comparison of export growth for the month of March with that of the matching month of 2020 is 'misleading'.
Exports started getting affected when the first wave of Covid-19 pandemic had hit the country in March last year. The export growths for the months of 2021 should be calculated with the corresponding months of 2019, not 2020, they suggested.
The July-March export earnings of FY 21, however, fell short of the target set for the period by 4.43 per cent.
After a continuous fall in export since the beginning of 2020, mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the earnings started recovering from June, and entered into positive territory from July, according to the EPB data.
Export earnings, however, witnessed a negative growth during the first half (July-December) of the current FY, and continued throughout its first nine months.
RMG sector fetched $23.48 billion in proceeds during the first nine months of FY 21, marking a 2.55 per cent negative growth. It also missed the target set for the period by 5.86 per cent.
The country earned $12.65 billion from knitwear exports in July-March of FY 21, registering a 5.85 per cent growth, which was $11.95 billion in the corresponding period of last fiscal.
Woven garment exports, however, declined by 10.83 per cent to $10.83 billion during the period, from $12.14 billion during the corresponding period of last fiscal, data showed.
Earnings from home textile exports grew by 41.5 per cent to $846.45 million. The achievement exceeded the target by 19.39 per cent.
Price trend continued to worsen, as March 2021 posted a 5.11 per cent decline in unit price compared to March 2019.
The average decline in unit price for July-March 2020-21 was 3.58 per cent compared to July-March 2018-19.
The export markets were still struggling to contain the pandemic spread, and the third wave only added to the woes.
Meanwhile, earnings from exports of jute and jute goods increased by 22.94 per cent to $953.57 million during the July-March period of this fiscal, up from $775.63 million over the corresponding period of last fiscal.
Agricultural products' export earnings grew by 3.43 per cent to $746.72 million during July-March of FY 21.
Export earnings of frozen and live fish decreased by 8.66 per cent to $367.74 million.
Pharmaceuticals export income stood at $119.01 million, marking a 12.04 per cent growth.
On the other hand, leather and leather goods earned $684.84 million, registering a 0.53 per cent decline.
Plastic products witnessed a growth of 1.86 per cent to $84.66 million during the July-March period of FY 21, according to the EPB data.