Impact of Coronavirus on Our RMG Sector

Salahuddin Alamgir, CIP

5th March, 2020 11:19:04 printer

Impact of Coronavirus on Our RMG Sector

We are all aware that novel Coronavirus is a burning problem of the day and almost all the people of this universe are alarmed with this unruly virus. Although it was first originated in China, but it is infecting the people of different countries of the world day-by-day. So far, the deadly virus has killed 3,100 people with around 90,000 confirmed cases in the world. Around 68 countries of Asia, Europe, America, Australia and Africa have been affected by Coronavirus and the number of infected people is increasing at a geometric rate.

This dreadful virus is not only causing humanitarian disaster; but also affecting the world economy on a large scale and because of it, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared ‘Global Health Emergency’ all over the world. The economy analysts are forecasting that the impact of Coronavirus may exceed the recession of 2008. Global stock market is in a very bad shape and according to the analysis of the international media, the investors worldwide lost 6 trillion US Dollar approximately last week. The prices of fuel have already reduced (46.19 USD/Barrel) which is the lowest in last four years. It was anticipated that the impact of Coronavirus will reduce soon; but the reality is different. Instead, this irresistible virus has become an epidemic issue for human being. The panic of this virus has spread all over the world and it has created a deep concern for world economy.

The concern is increasing in Bangladesh as well. Import from China is being hampered significantly and due to its bad impact almost all businesses of Bangladesh are suffering; especially textile and readymade garments are in huge impact. Because of the crisis of raw materials, finished goods and accessories, their prices are in severe hike.

The concerns among the local entrepreneurs are increasing day-by-day. China is solely the biggest commercial partner of Bangladesh. In 2018-2019 fiscal year, the total merchandising with China was $1,479 crores. Currently all imports from China are interrupted and local entrepreneurs are facing severe difficulties in their businesses.

It s no doubt that novel Coronavirus is an urgent issue of the world although the dying sector of Bangladesh is less affected. As the import of raw materials for dying factories is a continuous process, so keeping in mind of China Holiday, dyeing factories have already imported a good quantity of raw materials and other relevant items before China Holiday and some items are ready for shipment as soon as China factories start their functioning. Moreover, local factories will find their alternative sources for import of products during the outbreak of Coronavirus. They have already identified Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, India and Nepal as very important sources to accrue their required raw materials. As a result, price of dyed yearn may rise from Tk 10.00 to Tk 15.00 for every pound; but the real impact will be on RMG Sector.

If Coronavirus breaks out at an epidemic form in the USA and the EU and if they start closing their retail shops as in Italy, their work orders to Bangladesh will decline at a massive rate. As a result, the RMG sector will be facing a great loss either directly or indirectly.

Bangladesh imports $502 crore of raw materials for garments out of which 40% is for textile and garment accessories. But due to current interruption in import, the prices of raw materials and accessories have already increased and many local entrepreneurs are facing severe difficulties in manufacturing their L/C products and maintaining their commitment of shipment as well. However, if the supply chain from China does not get normal within the next two weeks, businesses of all around the world will face a huge financial loss.

The writer is President, Bangladesh Dyed Yarn Exporters Association,  

Director, FBCCI and Chairman, Labib Group