Leather Industry is in a Positive Export Trend

The overall exports grew an unassertive rate of 3.92% year-on-year to $28.72 billion in July-April, riding on shipments of knitwear, home textiles, leather products and jute. Leather products shipments rose 19.08 percent to $373.31 million while that of leather footwear went up by 14.05 percent to 431.65 million in July-April period.

Shipments of leather products and leather footwear helped the country maintain the positive export growth along with knitwear, jute. However, the export industry is in a positive growth in such a situation when there is a prolonged slowdown of economic activities in the European Union and uncertainty in the US following the presidential elections.

Month-wise, it also rose nearly 3.49 percent to $2.78 billion in April compared to the same month a year ago, according to the Export Promotion Bureau. However, the earnings fell 4.25 percent short of the target set at almost $30 billion for the 10-month period. April's earnings were also 3.82 percent shy of hitting the monthly $2.89 billion target.

Exports are an important driver of growth for Bangladesh, led by the garment industry, which accounted for 82 percent of total goods exports in 2015-16, a 2-percentage point increase from FY15. Steady export growth in recent years has supported an increase in foreign exchange reserves to $32.22 billion as of March this year which was about $8 billion in FY2011. Bangladesh shipped goods worth $34.26 billion in the last fiscal year and the government has aimed to earn $37 billion in the current fiscal year ending next month. At the current pace of growth, Bangladesh could beat last fiscal year's total exports, but may find it difficult to hit the full-year target for 2016-17, which is 8 percent higher than the receipts in 2015-16.

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