For the first time, Bangladesh's export earnings crossed $52.08 billion in the outgoing fiscal year 2021-22 on the back of a record shipment by the readymade garments sector.
Besides, other emerging sectors such as home textiles, leather and leather goods and agricultural products also performed better in the export outlook.
This year's export earnings target from goods shipment was $43.5 billion, which was reached within 10 months. At the end of the fiscal year, the total earnings grew by $8.58$ billion, which is more than the target, according to the provisional data of the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) released on Sunday.
However, jute and jute goods, once regarded as golden fiber, lost its glory as the sector recorded a 2.91% negative growth to $1.12 billion which was $1.16 billion in FY 21.
AHM Ahsan, vice-chairman of EPB, told The Business Standard that if they take $8 billion worth of services exports into account, the exports will reach $60 billion at the end of this fiscal year.
He also mentioned that the exports will continue to grow until next October.
In June, the exports hit the $4.90 billion mark for the highest in a single month in this fiscal year, and June growth was over 37% year-on-year.
In July-June, the country's apparel shipments alone accounted for more than 81% worth $43.34 billion, according to sources at the EPB.
Knitwear and woven apparel exports reached $23.21billion and 19.19 billion respectively.
According to the EPB data, the home textile sector earned $1.62 billion, leather and leather goods earned $1.24 billion in the outgoing fiscal, while agricultural products and jute and jute goods recorded $1.16 billion and $1.12 billion shipment in FY 22.
Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) Vice President Fazlee Shamim Ehsan said apparel shipment was doing well for three reasons - raw materials price hike reflected on price, more orders came to Bangladesh due to proper Covid-19 management and global geo-politics created more scopes for Bangladesh.
He said a number of countries, including the USA, is looking for another reliable sourcing destination besides China.
Fazlee Shamim Ehsan also said the global record high inflation was affecting apparel orders.
"My factory is facing 16% lower orders for the coming months," he said, adding that there was a fear of recession, which affected apparel global demand.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan told TBS that apparel exports saw a good growth even during the Russia-Ukraine war, as huge orders were booked with the trend expected to continue in the next two months.
He, however, said next year would be tough due to global inflation and recession as some buyers with good inventory would be careful in placing new orders.
The BGMEA president also hoped that such positive growth would be maintained next year.
"Definitely the industry will try to maintain a double-digit growth," he added.