BANGLADESH: World Bank sees uncertain export outlook
Bangladesh's overall export outlook for the current fiscal year remains "uncertain" due to a possible intensification of the Eurozone crisis, a new World Bank report says.
The latest Bangladesh Economic Update for October 2012 notes "the euro area crisis has already affected exports."
Exports declined year-on-year from February through June, and a 2.1% gain in July to September is described as "miniscule".
Garment orders from new markets appear to have offset declining shipments to Europe in the three months from July to September, the World Bank said, adding that this may not be sustained if orders from Europe continue to decline.
Exports of knitted ready-made garments remained flat while woven garments grew by 13.9% in fiscal 2012, which ran to the end of June this year.
In July to September, the first three months of fiscal 2013, knitwear exports declined by 1.5% while woven garments grew by 9.9%, according to the World Bank Update.
"Shifts in supplier sourcing led to increases in market share for garment exports to both the US and Europe," it said, adding that at the same time, Bangladesh is more vulnerable to a downturn as experienced in the six months since January.
It also said ready-made garment export earnings from non-traditional markets - such as Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and Turkey - had increased by nearly 29% to US$527.6m during the first quarter of the FY13.
"Overall, this is a positive development in terms of export market diversification for Bangladesh, but the combined share of these markets is still too small to make a dent on overall export growth," the World Bank noted.
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