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Bangladesh to be largest global apparel exporter to US
May '11
Bangladesh apparel exports to the United States have shown a phenomenal rise of 39 percent in value terms so far in 2011, according to a report by the UK-based Textiles Intelligence, a leading provider of business information on the global fibre, textile and apparel industries.

The report 'Trade and Trade Policy: The US Clothing Import Market', published in the latest issue of Global Apparel Markets, says Bangladesh will emerge as the fastest growing apparel supplier to the US market in 2011.

The report states that Bangladesh will be closely followed by Cambodia as its exports to the US markets have witnessed a 31 percent surge in value terms in 2011.

El Salvador and Honduras are set to be the third and fourth fastest growing clothing suppliers to the US markets, respectively. The US apparel import from El Salvador has seen a 23 percent rise, while the import from Honduras has risen by 19 percent.

Along with these four countries, the report places Pakistan as among the cheapest of the USA's ten leading apparel suppliers in 2010. This denotes that the US buyers continue to prefer low-cost goods as they await the US economy to completely recover from the recent global recession.

Bangladesh garment industry analysts say that 58 percent of the country's total garment export is to the European markets, followed by 34 percent to the USA, and a meager 8 percent to the other parts of the world.

In the first ten months of fiscal 2010-11, the overall readymade garments export by Bangladesh increased by 42 percent, i.e. to nearly US$ 17 billion, against the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.

Several factors have contributed to this huge increase in Bangladesh apparel exports. First, the sharp increase in production costs in China has resulted in diversion of international buyers towards Bangladesh. Second, international buyers are placing more work orders as Bangladesh now enjoys duty-free, quota-free (DFQF) market access under the EU liberalised rules of origin criteria.

Lastly, major international buyers prefer to place bigger orders with Asian manufacturers as the US consumer confidence is returning. This can be seen from the fact that the growth in El Salvador has been slower so far in 2011 compared to the previous year, while it has remained the same in case of Honduras.

The Textiles Intelligence report, however, added that the average price of US apparel imports saw an increase as a whole, after having witnessed a fall in the previous four years. All the countries exporting clothing to the US increased the prices of their products in the first two months of 2011, in consonance with the rise in prices of raw material.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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