Bangladesh’s apparel exporters regain US market

Bangladesh’s apparel exports to the US market are on a positive trend. Total exports in the first month of this year stood at $867.64 million, which was $751.67 million in the same period of 2022. This information is known from the statistics of the Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) under the US Department of Commerce.Bangladesh's apparel exporters regain US market

Bangladesh was the third largest single export destination after China and Vietnam with a market share of 8.84% in January 2023, compared to 9.78% in the same period in 2022. However, in the first seven months (July-January) of the current financial year 2022-23, apparel exports to the United States have declined by 1.98%, according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data.

Comparing these two data from OTEXA and EPB, it can be said that export performance in USA from Bangladesh is soaring in the New Year 2023 which is a good signal for the country’s exporters.

According to OTEXA, total apparel imports to the United States reached $7.25 billion in January 2023. Which is a decrease of 3.44% from $7.52 billion in January 2022. Bangladesh’s main competitors such as China, Vietnam and Cambodia have experienced negative growth in apparel exports to the US.

Among exporters, China accounted for 24.61% of exports in January 2023, earning $1.44 billion, which is down to 24.2% from $1.91 billion in the same period of 2022.

At the same time, Vietnam exported $1.26 billion worth of apparel products which was $1.27 billion in 2022, a decrease of 0.50%.

After Bangladesh, India is in the fourth position with 5.2% of the market share, exported garments worth $484.98 million in January 2023. Last year, India exported $441.8 billion, that is, their exports increased by 9.77%.

According to OTEXA data, apparel exports from Indonesia to the United States rose 4.73% to $453.83 million in the first month of 2023. At the same time, exports from Cambodia to the market decreased by 12.92% to $282.75 million worth of apparel products. The two countries are ranked fifth and sixth by exporting 5.15% and 4.17% of apparel products.

Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) president Faruque Hassan said the performance in the US market was ‘very good’ – considering the local and global economic conditions as well as overall US imports.

The BGMEA president highlighted manufacturing of value-added garments as well as product diversification – especially non-cotton-based garment manufacturing, as the driving force behind the growth.

Moreover, Bangladesh has received some orders from China amid the US-China trade dispute, he noted.

BGMEA director Mohiuddin Rubel said, the positive growth in the US market is proof of Bangladesh’s strength. It also shows how strong our position will be if the global economy fully recovers from the effects of Covid-19 and war. US buyers and consumers put us ahead of other competitors as a sourcing country. We believe our position will be stronger in the future.

However, amid consumer financial concerns and economic uncertainty, US apparel sales were expected to decline, according to various estimates.

According to a recent report published by McKinsey & Company, the fashion industry is once again facing a challenging climate. This recession is expected to continue till 2023. The global economic slowdown is increasingly reflected in consumer shopping habits heading into an unpredictable year ahead