The country's apparel exporters have faced work order shortages as well as shrinking prices compared to last year, according to a recent survey of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
RMG exporters have booked only 35 percent of their production capacity for August-December period, and on average, the price trend has been showing a 14 percent decline, according to survey findings.
The BGMEA unveiled the report styled "Analysis of Factory Capacity Booking Survey" on Friday night.
The association prepared the report based on responses from their member factories last week. Only 100 factories responded to the survey out of about 2,000 operational factories.
The Business Standard has talked to about a dozen factories that have used up to 80 percent of their production capacity.
"In July, 56 percent of the total production capacity was booked. Considering the consolidated booking status for the second half of 2020, only 35 percent of the total capacity has been booked," reads the report.
The huge shortfall in order in the market has also made the price to take a nosedive. On average, the price trend has been showing a 14 percent dip in the second half of 2020 compared to last year, the report added.
Men's undergarments have the highest price decline of 43 percent, followed by babies' garments with 35 percent. Only knitted bottoms got a price hike of 6 percent this year, according to the survey.
As per various international studies, a massive drop in clothing consumption in the Western market is expected due to the continuing effect of Covid-19, said the BGMEA.
To understand the actual scenario, the BGMEA invited its respected members to provide detailed information on their orders in hand on its portal, and 100 factories responded.
"Based on that, we have projected the current market scenario for the second half (July-December) of 2020," said Khan Monirul Alam Shuvo, chairman, media and public relations standing committee of BGMEA.
He explained that factories are using 100 percent of their capacity in the last 10 years, but it may fluctuate as per peak season and off season.
Shuvo said apparel makers considered October to February as the super peak season as they are producing apparels for summer at that time.
Usually, August to September is the lean period for factories as they have shortage of orders, he added.
Shuvo hoped that booking of orders will be better by September if the global pandemic situation improves.
A number of top apparel brands have already announced that they will provide support during the pandemic by placing new orders, taking their ready goods and paying without any discount.