Bangladesh outnumbered China, Vietnam and Indonesia in garment export growth to the United States in January-October this year, with many U.S. buyers shifting orders to the supplier country of the three competitors. who experience production interruptions.
Bangladesh, which now ranks third in RMG’s exports to the United States, recouped $ 5.7 billion from the destination in the first 10 months, up about 27 percent from the country’s revenue. same period in 2020, according to the Office of Textiles and Apparel (Otexa).
Chinese exports to the US market amounted to $ 16 billion with growth of 25%, followed by Vietnam by 14% and Indonesia by 10%.
In contrast, four of the other six major US suppliers grew faster than Bangladesh.
Industry insiders say garment manufacturers in Bangladesh have received an additional flow of work orders due to a drastic drop in output at Chinese factories fueled by energy shortages and disruption in the supply chain. supply caused by a pandemic in Vietnam and Indonesia.
“Our apparel exports to the US market have grown steadily and many US buyers are now turning to us,” Mohammad Hatem, executive chairman of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), told The Business Standard.
The demand for supplies from buyers from Western countries accelerated further. Thus, exports will increase even more in the coming months, he said.
With the resumption of economic activity in the United States after the pandemic situation took a turn, Americans began to release pent-up demand, especially for clothing and footwear.
Dr Mohammad Abdur Razzaque, president of Research and Policy Integration for Development, said that as the pandemic receded, Americans with cash incentives from their government began spending on things, like clothes, which they were private. Thus, the country’s imports have marked a sharp increase.
In January-October, the United States imported nearly $ 67 billion in clothing, up 24% from the same period a year ago, according to data from Otexa.
China’s clothing exports to the United States could halve over the next five to ten years, opening up an opportunity for Bangladesh to take a larger share in the larger market, noted Abdur Razzaque.
If Bangladesh keeps production costs under control by making it easier to do business, it will gain an advantage over Vietnam, which is set to wage a bitter struggle.
Mr. D. Shahidullah Azim, executive chairman of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), told TBS: “We could have exported more to the US market. Due to the high costs of doing business, many exporters do not take many orders despite their capacity the prices they get are not in line with production costs. ”
They demand higher prices for products if raw material costs rise, but they cannot do so if production costs rise for other reasons, such as logistics, said Shahidullah, also owner of Classic Fashion. Concept Ltd.
Mohammad Hatem said that Bangladesh’s export growth to the US market is very good even after paying 16% tariffs.
At least if the country’s cotton garments can be exported to this US duty-free market, Bangladesh will see its exports increase dramatically.
The top six garment exporters to the US market are India, Mexico, Honduras, Cambodia, Pakistan and Korea.
In the first 10 months of this year, India, Mexico, Honduras and Pakistan recorded higher export growth than Bangladesh, although their exports were lower than those of Bangladesh.