Published in New Age on Tuesday, 9 August 2016
Dismal beginning for export sector in FY 2016-17
Data shows July earnings 25pc lower than govt-set target
Country’s export earnings in July, the first month of the current financial year 2016-17, fell by 3.49 per cent to $2.53 billion compared with that of $2.62 billion in the same month of the FY 2015-16.
The export earnings in July of FY17 were 24.93 per cent lower than the government-set target of $3.37 billion for the month, according to the Export Promotion Bureau provisional data to be published today.
‘Export earnings in the first month of FY17 have failed to reach to the expected level only due to a long vacation for Eid-ul-Fitr. We will have to wait two or three more months for making comment on export situation as only one month cannot show the exact trend,’ Mafruha Sultana, vice-chairman of the EPB, told New Age on Monday.
She said that due to Eid vacation factories remained closed for 7-10 days in July and shipment remained stopped in almost 15 days that resulted in negative export growth in the month of July.
According to the EPB vice-chairman, considering the long Eid vacation in the month, exporters put additional efforts in producing products and making shipment in June and so the export earnings in the last month of FY16 posted a new record.
According to the EBP data, the earnings from the readymade garment export in July of FY17 posted a 4.41-per cent negative growth and amounted to $2.11 billion. The earnings from RMG export in July of FY16 were $2.21 billion.
The data showed that the export earnings from RMG products in the first month of FY17 were 23.60 per cent lower than the government-set target of $2.77 billion.
In this July, the export earnings from the woven sector fell by 4.36 per cent to $1.04 billion compared with that of $1.08 billion in the same month of FY16, while the knitwear sector fetched $1.07 billion with a 4.45-per cent negative growth.
‘We cannot fathom the trend of export based on the data of only one month but the negative growth in the earnings took place (in July) mainly due to a nine-day Eid holiday,’ said Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue.
He said that the terror attack at Gulshan in Dhaka had not put any impact on export earnings in the month of July but there might be a little impact of Brexit, UK’s leave vote from the European Union.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association vice-president Mahmud Hasan Khan Babu said that the export earnings in the first month of the current financial year posted a negative growth as production and shipment remained closed in about 10 days due to the Eid-ul-Fitr vacation.
‘Export earnings in August would hopefully achieve a positive growth and the earnings in September might see negative growth again due to Eid-ul-Azha vacation in the month,’ he said.
According to the EPB data, leather and leather product exports in the first month of FY17 fell by 2.26 per cent to $92.50 million compared with that of $94.64 million in the same month of FY16, while leather footwear export posted a 4.31-per cent negative growth to $49.70 million in the period.
Frozen food and fish exports fell by 0.11 per cent to $37.77 million from $37.81 million.
Export earnings from jute and jute goods achieved a moderate growth in the first month of FY17 riding on the performance of raw jute export.
Earnings from jute and jute goods in the month of July of FY17 grew by 25.71 per cent to $69.77 million from $55.50 million in the same period of FY16.
Export earnings from raw jute grew by 74.30 per cent to $25.50 million from that of $14.63 million.
Export earnings from pharmaceuticals in July of FY17 fell by 19.45 per cent to $5.84 million from $7.25 million in the same period of FY16, the EPB data showed.
Agricultural products export fell by 5.85 per cent to $40.25 million from $42.75 million.
Earnings from home textile export also fell by 18.22 per cent to $39.78 million from $48.64 million.
The EPB data showed that the export earnings from engineering products in the first month of FY17 fell by 35.54 per cent to $29.04 million from that of $45.05 million posted in the same period of the previous fiscal year.