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Country’s exports crossed $5b in November

03 December 2022

Al Amin  :
The country's merchandise shipments rebounded strongly than it was expected in November after a drop in the previous two months, extending some breathing space for Bangladesh's foreign currency reserves.
According to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, the country's exports rose to a record $5.09 billion in November, up 26.01 per cent from $4.04 billion in November last year.
Major exporters and economists, however, have raised question over the big jump in export earnings citing it "unusual" amid the slowed economy caused by Russia-Ukraine war.
They also said why the foreign currency reserves are declining after a big jump in export earnings in last two consecutive months (October and November), whereas imports have been reduced by 30 to 40 per cent in recent times due to imposition of restriction on imports of luxuries goods.
Mohiuddin Rubel, Director of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) told The New Nation on Friday, "The rise in export is difficult to explain with logic. However, this may be caused by increased unit price due to inflation and raw materials cost hike, as well as the order surge in previous months."
"The global trade and economic outlook appears to be depressive and retail business worldwide is facing a difficult time. Therefore, such growth may not be taken as a reason of complacency," he added.
He further said, "We are rather cautious and optimistic about the future as the industry is transforming to a sustainable one, which is our biggest strength."
Dr Mahfuz Kabir, Research Director, Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS), however, said, "Many buyers postponed their shipment fearing  economic recession in developed countries in August due to the war. But, the orders were retained in September and October."
"It helps increase in the country's export earnings extra-ordinarily and the surge in export earnings will have to continue for next three to four months to stabiles the county's macro-economy," he added. Regarding the decline in the country's forex reserves, he said, "Many import payments were unsettled during Covid-19 pandemic period and after the

starting of the payments, it put pressure on the reserves suddenly."
"But the ratio of depletion of the reserves is now falling down as the export earnings and flow of remittances are in uptrend," he added.
Dr Abdur Razzaque, Chairman of the RAPID, said, "Forex reserves are still declining as it will take time 90 to 120 days time to get the reflection of export earnings."
Exports shrank 6.25 per cent to $3.9 billion in September and $4.36 billion in October as shipments of apparel products declined along with some other key products that showed negative growth.
Overall exports for July-November of the current fiscal year stood at $21.95 billion, up 11 per cent compared to the same period a year ago.
The RMG export reached $18.34 billion during the mentioned period with a 15.61 per cent growth compared to the July- November of last fiscal year (2021-22).
Of them, earnings from knitwear were $10.11 billion, while $ 8.21billion came from woven garments with 12.55 per cent and 19.61 per cent year-over-year growth respectively.  
The RMG exports have increased by 35.36 per cent to $4.37 billion in November, 2022 from $3.23 billion in same month of 2021.
Leather and leather goods export in the five months increased by 17.65 per cent to $537.50 million from $456.85 million in same period in last year.
Earnings from agriculture products export fell by 22.92 per cent to $428.91 million from $556.46 million in the corresponding time of last year.
Export of jute and jute goods fell by 11 per cent to $406.60 million during the time from $456.83 million in the same period of last year, as per the EPB data.
Export earnings from frozen and live fish fell by 27.39 per cent to $208.27 million in the five months from $286.85 million in the same period of last fiscal year.
Engineering products export in July-November fell by 44.67 per cent to $218.32 million from $391.84 in the same period of last fiscal year.

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