Aug 5, 2009
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Bangladesh '08/'09 exports up 10 percent but miss target

Aug 5, 2009

DHAKA, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Bangladesh's exports surged 10.3 percent to $15.56 billion in the 2008/09 fiscal year that ended in June, the lowest growth in six years, reflecting falling demand as a result of the global economic slump.

Export earnings in the year were 4.5 percent below the government's target, data from the Export Promotion Bureau showed on Wednesday 5 August.

In June, exports fell 3.26 percent to $1.42 billion from a year earlier.

Clothing exports, which account for more than two-thirds of the impoverished country's total export income, posted moderate growth that helped support overall exports, officials said.

Earnings from knit textiles in July-June rose 16.2 percent to $6.4 billion from the previous year, while exports of woven garments rose 14.5 percent to $5.9 billion.

However, exporters of ready-made garments -- which mostly go to the United States and Europe -- said they faced a drop in orders and lower prices.

Export sales of frozen food, leather, jute, electronics and other materials declined amid poor demand.

Bangladesh had set a $16.3 billion export target for 2008/09. Exports in the previous fiscal year totalled $14.11 billion, of which almost $10.7 billion came from garments.

($1 = 69.06 taka) (Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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