Garment exports to US on the rise

Published : 05 Sep 2016, 14:06

Jagoroniya Desk

With increased shipments of garment, overall exports to the US rose 1.12 percent to $3.6 billion in the first seven months of this year, according to data from the US Department of Commerce.

Between January and July, manufacturers exported $3.36 billion of garment products to the US, Bangladesh's single largest export destination. The number is a 0.87 percent rise year-on-year.

Although the growth of apparel exports to the US is not too high, the trend is still inspiring, said Siddiqur Rahman, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

“We expect an annualised garment export growth to the US of at least 10 percent. Achieving this is possible as the work orders are coming in bulk due to competitive prices and for the production of high value apparel items in recent years in Bangladesh,” said Rahman.

China has been losing its market share in the US. This is another major reason for the higher growth of Bangladesh's garment exports to the US, he said.

“International retailers are pleased with compliance as well, as the factory owners are completing their remediation works in their units and strengthening workplace safety.”

Of the top 10 garment exporters to the US, only Bangladesh and Vietnam showed positive trends in the shipments during the period. Vietnam's exports grew 1.83 percent to $6.51 billion in the first seven months.

Between January and July, the US import of garment items from the world declined 4.98 percent to $60.23 billion from $63.39 billion last year.

During this time, China's exports declined by 8.49 percent to $21.39 billion, India by 0.97 percent to $4.39 billion, Pakistan by 10.67 percent to $1.59 billion.

Apparel spending in the US declined 1.5 percent in June, while department store sales fell from a year ago, according to Business Insider.  The companies blamed a variety of temporary factors — such as delayed inventory shipments, bad weather, and fewer international tourists — for the slowdown in business.

But Americans are increasingly spending less on clothes and home furnishings, a trend that could hurt the companies' businesses for years to come.

While lower gas prices mean consumers theoretically have more disposable income, the Commerce Department recently reported that US retail sales were flat as shoppers have other priorities.

A recent report by Morgan Stanley shows that millennials are spending more on expenses like rent, cellphones, and personal services than young people a decade ago. This leaves less money for buying clothes, the Business Insider said.

In apparel export, Bangladesh does not enjoy duty benefit in the American markets. As a result, Bangladesh's competitiveness eroded by 15.62 percent, Vietnam 8.38 percent, China 3.08 percent and India 2.29 percent.

Source: thedailystar

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