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RMG exports to USA bouncing back

Published : Tuesday, 9 April, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 851

It is encouraging to note that readymade garment exports to USA, Bangladeshs single largest market, is now showing signs of recovery with increased volumes of orders.

Referring to a data from the Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA), garment exports to US fell as much as by 25 percent in 2023. The fall in exports gradually narrowed down to 19.24 percent in the first two months of 2024.

Now the immediate past president of BGMEA (Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers Association) has officially stated that export to US will continue to grow in the coming months and the volume may cross the $10-billion mark by the end of 2024.

The point, however, widely speculated theories of cold bilateral ties to have brewed against the recently ended national polls, political mistrust, and the so-called Biden governments unseen attempts for a regime change in Bangladesh - have often been quoted behind reduced RMG orders in the US during the past two years.

We have all the good reasons to believe that all suspicions, conspiracy theories, and speculations have so far been proved wrong, and nothing more than a politically motivated circulation of a peculiar mixture of myth and rumour.

Facts confirm that US clothing retailers and brands imported fewer apparel items from all over the world in the last two years, mainly due to unsold inventories as stocks piled up amid lower consumption during the peak of the Corona virus Pandemic. Moreover, the trend persisted until last year as severe fallout of Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war triggering inflation to a multi-decade high in many countries including the US, thus eroding purchasing power of consumers.

However, the sales started to pick up in November last year and inventories ran out, leading to a rise in orders for goods from Bangladesh and other countries.

Needs be mentioned Bangladesh holds third position as an apparel importer to the US - trailing China and Vietnam - among all garment-exporting nations. However, the country is also the top denim exporter to the US.

Now that the orders have bounced back, the challenge will be to capture more US market share with increased number of diversified products.

The million dollar question, however, will American consumer spending maintain its resilience in 2024?

We only expect a yes.

While our RMG exports to USA have doubled in the past 5 years, and that too in the face of all odds, it would be unwise to focus on capturing and holding onto one single big market.

To finish with, in todays highly volatile and polarised world, need of the hour demands exploring newer export destinations - so to efficiently deal with disruption and ensure sustainability of our RMG sector.

We have to move fast.







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