Export earnings have registered more than 12% growth to $3.07 billion in March, bringing the first nine months' total close to the last year's level.
Merchandise exports in the July-March period of the current fiscal year fetched $28.93 billion, 0.12% less than the amount earned in the period a yearago, according to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data released yesterday.
The amount, however, fell short of the strategic target set for the period by 4.43%.
The March earnings, $3.44 billion, were 10.79% less than the strategic export target for the month.
The apparel sector, the lifeline of export earnings has experienced 2.55% negative growth in nine months of the fiscal 2021-22. The readymade garment sector – knitand woven together – fetched$23.48 billion.
Knitwear posted 5.85% growth and even exceeded the strategic fiscal target, earning $12.65 billion in July-March.
But the growth was overshadowed by a whopping 10.83% decline in woven segment, which fetched $10.83 billion.
Home textile, agriculture, engineering products, pharmaceuticals, jute and jute goods export earnings showed a positive growth, but their total earnings were too little to offset the losses from woven garments.
Sector leaders said business activities and external trades have nearly returned to normalcy in the last few months, marking some recovery from the pandemic impact.
Exporters say they are still struggling to recover their businesses and they need the continuation of government support on the way to that recovery.
Talking with The Business Standard, FazleeShamim Ehsan, a director of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA), said, "Woven export sector is still struggling, while knitwear is performing slightly better. But the business is still away from the pre-Covidera."
The newly-elected President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA),Faruque Hassan, said, "If we compere this growth with the same month of last year, that may be misleading as we had experienced a sudden closure in the last week of March last year. That was reflected in export earnings."
He also mentioned that the export earnings will be better if the industry can survive the next few months.
The home textile sector posted a robust growth and earned $846 million, up by 41.5%, which was $598 million in the same period a year ago.
Among the major sectors, jute and jute goods earned $953.57 million, up by 24.94% from $775.63 million in the previous year.
Earnings from leather and leather goods remained in a negative trend. In the July-March period, the leather and leather goods sector earned $684 million, 0.53 % lower than the same period of last fiscal year.
The frozen and live fish sector earned $367.74 million in the period which was $402 million in the same period a year ago.