In a recent report released by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), the apparel export sector in Bangladesh witnessed a slowdown in growth during the period of July-November in the fiscal year 2023-24. The Ready-Made Garment (RMG) export growth recorded a modest increase of 2.75% year-over-year, reaching US$ 18.83 billion, compared to US$ 18.33 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal year.
Notably, the month of November experienced a sharper decline, with exports dropping by 7.45%, raising concerns within the industry. The decline affected both woven and knitwear, but the impact was more pronounced on woven garments.
During the five months, knitwear exports amounted to US$ 10.98 billion, showing a more robust growth rate of 8.66%. Conversely, the export of woven garments reached US$ 7.84 billion, reflecting a decline of 4.52%. In November 2023, woven exports saw a significant drop of 12.59%, while knitwear exports declined by 3.18%.
Experts attribute this slowdown to various factors, including disruptions in production caused by labor unrest. Mohiuddin Rubel, Director of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Managing Director of Bangladesh Apparel Exchange, and Additional Managing Director of Denim Expert Ltd, highlighted the challenges faced by the industry. Additionally, a slowdown in global retail sales and demand has further contributed to the sluggish performance of Bangladesh’s apparel exports.
The industry stakeholders are closely monitoring the situation and are in the process of strategizing to address the challenges faced by the sector. As the global economic landscape continues to evolve, Bangladesh’s apparel industry is working towards adapting to the changing dynamics to ensure sustained growth in the coming months.