Bangladesh has registered a 13.64% year-on-year growth to reach $35.18 billion in export earnings in the outgoing fiscal year's first 11 months.
Even so, exports are down 6.80%, relative to the same period in pre-Covid fiscal year 2018-19, according to data released on Thursday by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).
In May, earnings were $3.10 billion, which is 16.02% lower than the export target for the month.
In the July-May period of the current fiscal year, readymade garments exports fetched $28.56 billion, 11.1% higher than what was earned in the same time frame a year ago, according to EPB data.
It is still 10% lower than it was in the same time frame of pre-pandemic fiscal year 2018-19.
Knitwear posted a 20.55% growth to stand at $15.36 billion, exceeding the target for the July-May period.
Woven grew slightly by 1.8%, to reach $13.19 billion in this period, which is way below the 15% target.
Earnings from home textiles, agriculture and engineering products, pharmaceuticals, jute and jute goods have shown positive growth, but their total earnings were too low to offset the woven garments' losses.
Industry leaders said business activities and external trade have almost returned to normal in the last few months, marking some recovery from the impact of the pandemic.
Exporters say they are still struggling to get over the shock and need government support for the recovery to continue.
"If we compare this growth with the same period of the previous fiscal year, it may be misleading as we are facing a pandemic," said Faruque Hassan, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
"If we look at pre-pandemic times, we are only now coming close to reaching that normal."
He said, at present, the demand for garment products is increasing in European and American markets as they have taken up a massive vaccination programme for their people.
"It seems we need three more months to recover from the Covid-19 shock. We hope our garments exports will reach $31 billion by the end of this fiscal year," added the BGMEA president.
The home textile sector has posted robust growth and earned $1.03 billion, up 54.76% from the same period a year ago.
Among other major sectors, jute and jute goods earned $1.08 billion, up by 33.23% from the previous year.
Earnings from leather and leather goods also posted positive growth.
In the 11 month July-May period of the outgoing fiscal, the leather and leather goods sector fetched $846.08 million, 14.43% higher than the same period in the previous fiscal year.
The agricultural products sector earned $905.99 million in this period of the current fiscal year, which was $780.16 million in the same time frame a year ago.