Bangladesh's garment exports to the United States are showing good growth after the improved coronavirus situation there triggered increased demand for readymade garment (RMG) products.
In the six months from January to June this year, Bangladesh's garment exports to the US increased by about 27%.
However, growth slowed slightly in July due to Eid holidays and the ongoing lockdown in Bangladesh.
Export growth of other countries competing with Bangladesh, especially China, India and Pakistan, is higher than Bangladesh.
However, export growth of Vietnam, one of the biggest competitors of readymade garments of Bangladesh, is slightly less than that of Bangladesh.
According to the latest figures released by the US Department of Commerce's Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA), the country's clothing imports from around the world increased by 26.92% in the six months from January to June.
The US has been in the throes of a coronavirus outbreak since March 2020. As a result, the country's imports and exports were severely hampered.
According to OTEXA, US clothing imports fell by 30% in the first six months of 2020. During the period, their garment imports from Bangladesh declined by about 20%.
However, the coronavirus outbreak has been declining in the US since the country began vaccinating people this year. Shopping has also increased as businesses have started opening in most of the states.
As a result, the first six months of this year have seen a big jump in the country's garment imports. Bangladesh is also getting the benefits.
Readymade garment exporters say they have large purchase orders from different countries including the US. They are also expecting good exports in the coming months.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan told The Business Standard (TBS), "We have a lot of orders, and exports will continue to grow in the coming months. Exports will increase not only in the United States, but also in other markets. If the factory had not been closed due to Eid and lockdown, garment exports would have increased in July as well."
Fazlee Shamim Ehsan, CEO of Fatullah Apparels in Narayanganj and also a garment exporter to the US market, told TBS that the country is likely to see more garment exports in the coming days. "As the Corona situation continues to deteriorate in southern Vietnam, a major exporter, some industrial areas have been closed there. As a result, there is a possibility that a lot of US purchases will come to Bangladesh soon."
Meanwhile, US buyers have also hinted at increasing purchases of clothing from Bangladesh in the coming days, according to a recent survey by the country. The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) conducted a survey, titled "2021 Fashion Industry Benchmarking Study", on the country's brands, which was published last July. It shows that buyers in the United States buy clothes at an average price of $2.6 per unit worldwide, while purchases from Bangladesh cost an average of $2.5.
According to OTEXA, in the six months from January to June, the United States imported garments worth $35.38 billion from the world market. In the previous year 2020, the imports were $27.87 billion. In the first six months of this year, Bangladesh exported garments worth $3.13 billion to the country. However, as usual, China is the top exporter in the US market. Although Bangladesh is the second largest exporter of garments to the European market, Vietnam has long held the second position in the US market. In the six months from January to June, Vietnam's garment exports to the US were almost double than that of Bangladesh.
Although Vietnam's garment exports are higher in terms of money, Bangladesh has exported to the US at a higher rate than Vietnam during the period.
In addition to Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Mexico, Honduras, Cambodia, Pakistan and Korea are among the top 10 garment exporters in the US market.