In the first quarter of 2023, Bangladesh experienced a 3.9% increase in apparel exports to the European Union (EU), reaching a total value of $5.6 billion, up from $5.4 billion in the same period of 2022.
This growth solidifies Bangladesh’s position as the second-largest apparel import source for the EU, trailing behind China.
Bangladesh accounted for a significant 24.07% share of the EU’s total ready-made garment (RMG) import in terms of value during this period, while China maintained a slightly higher share at 24.55%.
Despite declining quantity, Bangladesh ranked in the EU’s apparel sourcing list based on kilograms.
Notably, this top position was maintained in 2022 as well. The recent statistics from Eurostat reveal a 3.67% decline in apparel imports from Bangladesh, equivalent to 11.84 million kilograms.
This decrease in quantity can be attributed to a rise in unit prices caused by increased raw material costs, transportation expenses, and other production-related expenses, amounting to a 7.86% surge in January-March 2023.
The overall apparel import figures for the EU during the mentioned period indicate a decline of 4.94% in value, equivalent to a decrease of $1.22 billion compared to the corresponding period in 2022.
In terms of quantity, the EU’s clothing import experienced a significant downturn of 12.64%, which translates to 136.88 million kilograms less than the previous year’s January-March period.
China, as the second-largest apparel import source for the EU, faced a decline of 17.80% in value, with imports amounting to $5.7 billion during the mentioned period, down from $6.99 billion.
The decline was even more pronounced in quantity, reaching 22.46% or 65 million kilograms.
Among the top ten apparel-sourcing countries, Bangladesh, India, and Vietnam demonstrated positive growth in value terms, while imports from other countries, including Turkey, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Morocco, declined.
EU imports from Turkey, the third-largest apparel import source, dropped significantly by 12.79% during January-March 2023.
In value terms, EU imports from India and Vietnam experienced increases of 5.75% and 3.73%, respectively. However, when considering volume, all the top apparel-sourcing countries exhibited negative growth during the mentioned period.