67% RMG export earnings come from 10 items

July 9, 2023 written by

About 68 per cent of Bangladesh’s annual export earnings from apparels is still confined to just 10 items, indicating that product diversification in the industry is yet to reach expected levels even after a journey of four-and-a-half decades.

The 10 most exported apparel items accounted for $30.94 billion of the country’s $45.70 billion earnings from the industry last year, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau compiled by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

As always, knitted cotton T-shirts saw the highest exports in 2022, registering earnings of $8.93 billion with roughly 26 per cent year-on-year growth.

This means that T-shirts contributed some 20 per cent of the total apparel exports that year, when Bangladesh captured 23 per cent of global trade in the sector, the data shows.

Men’s woven trousers were the second highest earner, registering about 23 per cent year-on-year growth to hit $5.94 billion with a 13 per cent share of the total apparel exports.

Women’s trousers were the third largest export item, earning $3.63 billon with year-on-year growth of 19.10 per cent. The sector has a global market share of around 16 per cent.

Meanwhile, cotton jerseys and pullovers placed fourth in terms of earnings while those made of manmade fibre stood at fifth.
Men’s cotton woven came next at sixth, women’s cotton knitted trousers seventh, synthetic woven trousers eighth, men’s cotton knitted shirts ninth and men’s cotton knitted trousers was the tenth most exported apparel item in 2022.

Bangladesh’s share in the global market for these 10 items was about 15 per cent of the $160.43 billion registered that year. At the same time, the country grabbed an 8 per cent share of the overall global apparel market valued at $431.94 billion.

Among these top 10 garment items, only 12 per cent of the export earnings in 2022 came from non-cotton apparels while cotton-based apparels made up the rest, said BGMEA President Faruque Hassan.

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