Bangladeshi exports to India drop 15%, despite growth in Indian imports

DailySun || Shining BD

Published: 3/29/2024 8:53:17 AM

Bangladeshi exports to India have fallen in the eight months till February, dragged down by declining garment exports, even as imports from India are growing.

According to Export Promotion Bureau data, Bangladesh exported $127 crore in merchandises in the July 2023-February 2024 period, down by 16.5% from $153 crore recorded in the same period during 2022-23.

In contrast, Indian imports worth $538 crore entered Bangladeshi markets in the seven months during July 2023-January 2024, rising 9% from the previous same period, as per official figures from New Delhi.

The growing trade gap can be attributed to a fall in Bangladeshi garment exports to India, India’s efforts to develop its own domestic apparel manufacturing capacity, a slowdown in global trade activities amid the Red Sea shipping attacks and other geopolitical crisis.

Top Bangladeshi exports to India include: ready-made garments, jute products, home textile items, soybean oil, frozen fish, plastics etc. Among these, the garments sector has the highest share.

Bangladesh’s garment exports nearly doubled in the space of two years to cross the $100 crore mark in the fiscal year ending June 2023. That had raised hopes that India would become a promising market for Bangladeshi garments alongside Western countries.

However, even as, $75 crore in garments were exported to India in the first eight months of fiscal year 2023 (July 2022-February 2023), the figure has fallen to $58 crore in the corresponding period of the ongoing fiscal year.

In the 2023 fiscal year, Bangladesh’s overall exports to India breached the coveted $200 crore-benchmark for the first time. Garments exports primarily drove the export momentum.

But the sector appears to have lost its pace and potentially share in Indian markets. A senior official from the Bangladesh Garment Exporters and Manufacturers Association has said the reason behind a slowdown is yet unclear and Indian self-sufficiency efforts could be a major factor to this end.

Bangladeshi garment exports would soon pick up pace in India, but hover around the $100 crore mark recorded in the previous fiscal year.

Slowdown in Bangladeshi exports to many other countries in July 2023-February 2024, and India's reduced import from countries apart from Bangladesh, also played roles in driving down Bangladeshi exports to its giant South Asian neighbour, experts opine.

The country’s persistent dollar crisis has also hurt local producers’ ability to import raw materials and manufacture export products.

Shining BD