Bangladesh’s apparel exports to European Union fall as Germany imports drop

The biggest importer Germany bought $2.86 billion worth of Bangladeshi garments in July-December, 17 percent less than the same period previous year

Published : 19 Jan 2024, 03:13 PM
Updated : 19 Jan 2024, 03:13 PM

Bangladesh’s exports of readymade garments to the European Union have decreased by 1.24 percent to $11.36 billion year-on-year in the first half of 2023-24 fiscal year.

Exporters say a fall in overall imports by the EU, especially Germany, has caused Bangladesh’s RMG exports to the region to drop.

What really happened is that the purchasing power of the EU customers has waned for different reasons, said Faruque Hassan, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association. 

“They imported a very good amount in 2022. Some inventories remained in their stock at the time. This is one of the reasons behind the EU importing less from Bangladesh and other big exporters, including China and Vietnam. It didn’t happen to Bangladesh only.”

Citing data from the Export Promotion Bureau, the BGMEA said on Friday that Bangladesh’s apparel exports to EU country Spain increased by 6.56 percent, France 2.15 percent, the Netherlands 9.11 percent, and Poland 19.14 percent.

But exports to Italy fell by nearly 3.9 percent.

The biggest importer Germany bought $2.86 billion worth of Bangladeshi garments, 17 percent less than the same period previous year.

“Germany is the single largest market of Bangladeshi garments in the EU. Our exports to the EU fell because of the fall in exports to Germany,” said Mohiuddin Rubel, a director of BGMEA.

Bangladesh’s RMG exports to Canada also fell by 4.16 percent to around $742 million in the July-December period.

The exports to the US, however, increased by 5.7 percent to cross $4 billion.

The UK took Bangladeshi garments worth $2.71 billion with a 13.24 percent growth.

In the non-traditional markets, Bangladesh’s exports in the July-December period grew by around 12.3 percent to $4.53 billion with a nearly 10 percent rise to Japan, 24.7 percent to Australia and over 19 percent to South Korea.

“We’ve done well in the non-traditional markets, including Australia. Overall, it was good for us amid a fall in demand in the EU,” said Faruque.

The BGMEA president hopes the EU’s demand will increase soon as they will run out of stock with a rise in retail sales.

“Besides this, the election in Bangladesh has ended and the new monetary policy has cut the lending rate.”