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Rising production costs in China is one reason given by the leather industry in Bangladesh for a recent rise in exports. The country’s leather industry has crossed the record $1-billion mark in exports in the first ten months of this fiscal year on the back of competitive pricing and quality improvement. Exports of leather have risen 33.9%.
Between July 2013 and April 2014, the leather industry exported products worth $1.06 billion, whereas the exports receipts for the whole of fiscal 2012-13 stood at $980.67 million, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).
Mohammed Nazmul Hassan Sohail, Managing Director of Leatherex Footwear Industry Ltd, a leading leather goods exporter, said the export figures would have been much higher if political unrest had not hurt the sector last year. M Abu Taher, chairman of Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leather goods and Footwear Exporters' Association, credited the spike in orders to the competitive pricing. He said many buyers are diverting orders from China, where the production cost has increased significantly. Leather businessmen are now confident of meeting the export target of $1.21 billion set by the government for this year. Leather goods exports rose 70.1% to $197.36 million in the first ten months of this fiscal year, while an increase of 33.9% to $424.05 million for leather and 30.2% to $443.54 million for footwear, according to EPB data.
Buoyant work orders encouraged entrepreneurs to place more funds in the sector: opening of letters of credit for capital machinery imports rose by 118.6% to $4.8 million year-on-year in the July-February period, according to the Bangladesh Bank.