H1 export earnings fall short of target
December data raise hopes of revivalStaff Correspondent
The country’s export earnings growth in the first half of the current fiscal year fell to 7.01 per cent from that of 14.72 per cent in the same period of the last fiscal year but earnings in November-December raised some hope of a revival.
The $12.60 billion export earnings in July-December of the current FY 2012-2013 expectedly fell 3.42 per cent short of the target of $13.05 billion because of the ongoing economic crisis in Europe and sluggish market in the US, said officials of Export Promotion Bureau which released the data on Thursday.
The export earnings were $11.77 billion in July-December of FY 2011-2012, growing by 14.72 per cent from the same period of FY 2010-2011 when the earnings were $10.26 billion.
The export earnings growth in six months of FY2012-13 were slower due to sluggish growth in exports of main product — readymade garments — and jute in the first four months of the FY.
The monthly export earnings in November and December with 10.93 per cent and 19.44 per cent growth year-on-year respectively, however, showed some sort of resilience following single digit and negative growth in seven out of eight months between March, 2012 and October, 2012.
Mustafizur Rahman, executive director of local think-tank Centre for Policy Dialogue, told New Age that although the growth in July-December was lower than the last year, it was a good sign that the earnings growth picked up in November-December.
He, however, said that the export earnings in the remaining six months of the FY would have to grow by 20 per cent if the country wanted to achieve the annual growth of 15.30 per cent set by the government.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association vice-president Siddiqur Rahman said that their business in the last six months had remained dull, which hit the export earnings.
‘The business here in Bangladesh remained shaky because of energy crisis and high bank interest rate. Global slowdown has also affected us,’ he said.
According to the EPB figures for July-December of the current fiscal, woven garment export growth fell to 11.53 per cent from around 22 per cent during the same period of the last fiscal year.
The total earnings from woven exports stood at $4.97 billion in July-December of the FY 13.
The knitwear export growth fell to 3.85 per cent in July-December from around 11 per cent. The total export stood at $4.97 billion.
Till October, the woven garment export growth in the first four months of the current fiscal year was 9.49 per cent year-on-year while the percentage for knitwear export was 1.11 per cent. But, the single month figure of November and December pulled the six-month percentage up.
The single-month export earnings in December totalled $2.46 billion, which is also 2.89 per cent higher than the target of $2.39
Home textiles exports in six months, however, fell by 0.10 per cent to $373.75 million and frozen foods exports fell by 20.11 per cent to $289.73 million.
The export of jute and jute goods maintained their positive trend during the July-December period of the current fiscal fetching $502.39 million with 5.30 per cent growth.
Leather exports totalled $166.74 million, while leather products $73.27 million with an eye-catching growth of 107.04 per cent; cotton and cotton products together earned $59.66 million; plastic products $41.42 million; and rubber $6.95 million.
Export of engineering products, including iron and steel, bicycle and electronic products earned almost $177.27 million with engineering equipment fetching $24.54 million.
Specialised textiles, including terry towel, showed a negative growth of 10.54 percent, earning $58.81 million during the July-December period of the current fiscal while export of petroleum by-products accounted to $161.17 million.
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