Bangladesh's apparel exports to the United States (US) have registered a significant rise of 23% over the last decade even though the overall global supplies have experienced a 3% drop on an average, according to the latest data of Department of Commerce's Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA).
In the same way, the country's apparel price for clothing per square metre has not dropped as much as predicted, considering the pandemic situation.
Bangladesh's price for apparel fell by only 6.1% to $2.76 year-on-year in 2020. The price drop has remained almost the same at 6% in the decade.
"Due to Covid-19, every country has seen a drop in their apparel exports to the US market, while Bangladesh's export fall was not that high though we could not run factories for an entire month, while Vietnam did not close their factories even for a single day," Md Fazlul Hoque, former president of BKMEA, told The Business Standard.
"Besides, the fall in Bangladesh's apparel price owing to the pandemic was very low compared to China's 41%," he added.
Bangladesh's apparel industry's capacity is increasing day by day, so is the export volume, said Abdullah Hil Rakib, managing director of TEAM Group.
At present, the US buyers have more confidence in placing orders to Bangladesh as the country's apparel industry is now more compliant having the world's largest number of green factories, he added.
A good number of US orders are shifting from China although the Chinese manufacturers are lowering their clothing prices, said Rakib, also a former director of the BGMEA.
Vietnam, Cambodia, India and Pakistan have enjoyed up to 90% growth during the last decade, while the world largest apparel supplier, China saw a 13% drop.
Indonesia, Honduras, Mexico and El Salvador have suffered an export decline in the US market in the same decade.
In 2020, the exports of all suppliers to the US plummeted by 16% year-on-year.
Last year, all supplier countries except for Cambodia and Pakistan lost their exports between 4% and 34% on the basis of year-on-year calculations while only Cambodia and Pakistan have marked 8% and 5% growth respectively.
OTEXA data also showed that among the top ten suppliers to the US market, Honduras and El Salvador witnessed the highest 21% and 20% hike in apparel prices respectively in the last decade, while only El Salvador enjoyed a 6.8% year-on-year rise in clothing prices last year.
As the top apparel supplier to the US market, China's clothing price per square metre came down to $1.79 last year, with a year-on-year decline of 41%.
Vietnam, the second-largest apparel supplier to the US market, saw its clothing price to drop to $3.31 per square metre.
Last year, Indonesia was the most expensive apparel supplier to the US market with an average price of $3.81 for its apparel per square metre.
Cambodia is the lone supplier among the US top ten apparel exporting countries to have seen no changes in prices over the last ten years, while its per square metre apparel price is $2.5 since 2011.