Will Bangladesh’s apparel exports lose momentum from October to December 2009?

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Exports of ready-made garments (RMG) from Bangladesh increased 11.48 percent year-on-year in the July-September quarter, according to preliminary data released by the Department of Export Promotion. However, soaring coal prices, disruption of China’s supply of raw materials due to China’s electricity crisis, and other factors could lead to a break from October to December.

The price of cotton, the main raw material for producing the 30-count yarn used in the manufacture of knitwear, is currently at a high for decades on the international market. Bangladesh, the second largest importer of cotton, may feel this price increase pinch.

Second, the price of yarn is currently higher in Bangladesh than in competitors such as India and Pakistan. In addition, imports of yarn and fabrics from China, a major raw material supplier to Bangladesh’s textile and garment industry, may face delays due to current power shortages.

Exports of ready-made garments (RMG) from Bangladesh increased 11.48 percent year-on-year in the July-September quarter, according to preliminary data released by the Department of Export Promotion. However, soaring coal prices, disruption of China’s supply of raw materials due to China’s electricity crisis, and other factors could lead to a break from October to December.

About 95% of the artificial fiber yarns that Bangladesh uses to manufacture its final products are imported from China. Bangladesh also does not produce viscose for overwear, synthetic fibers, and special fabrics for garments. All of these are imported from China. In addition, Bangladeshi textile factories are equipped to supply yarn for knitwear and denim fabrics, but not for textile apparel.

From October to December 2020, Bangladesh imported $ 466.32 million of yarn, of which $ 232.41 million was from China. TexPro, Fiber2Fashion market analysis tool.. Similarly, Bangladesh’s textile imports were valued at $ 1.963 billion during the controversial quarter, accounting for $ 1.18 billion in China alone.

In addition, the power source needed to keep modern apparel sewing units up and running relies on coal. Bangladesh relies entirely on imports for about 80 lactones of coal annually. The global economic recovery after COVID has caused international coal prices to skyrocket by 70% in the last 12 months.

Also note that Bangladesh did not import coal from neighboring India for about eight months this year, so coal prices have risen from about 8,000 taka a year ago to about 18,000 taka per ton. Bangladesh will have to rely on Indonesia for coal imports as India itself faces a coal shortage. Coal is not a direct requirement for the operation of the garment industry, but high costs can increase the cost of electricity consumption of apparel manufacturing units.

Recently, some orders from China have shifted to other countries under the “China Plus One” procurement strategy adopted by global retailers, with orders being placed in Bangladesh. Therefore, if production is disrupted for any reason, it will be a challenge for the country’s apparel industry, which accounts for more than 80% of export revenues.

Fiber2Fashion News Desk (RKS)

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Will Bangladesh’s apparel exports lose momentum from October to December 2009?

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