Exports of vegetables dip to the bottom of 6 years | Rare Techy
Bangladesh’s earnings from vegetable exports fell to a six-year low in the July-October period of the current fiscal year as high air freight rates and rising prices reduced the competitiveness of fresh produce.
Exports earned just $15 million from air shipments of locally produced fruit and vegetables to Middle Eastern and European markets in the first four months of fiscal 2022-23, down 60 percent from $38 million in the same period last year, Export data showed . Promotion Bureau (EPB).
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“During the last six months, the airline has increased the cost of cargo at will. The cost of air transport rose 40 percent in the last year,” said Mohammad Mansur, secretary general of Bangladesh Fruit, Vegetable and Allied Products Exporters’. Association (BFVAPEA).
In addition, the cost of transportation has increased after the increase in the price of crude oil by the government in August this year.
Due to rising transport costs, importers, mainly in the Middle East, have shown a lack of interest in fresh agricultural produce from Bangladesh.
Instead, many of them buy from West Bengal exporters, who ship vegetables and fruits via Kolkata, where air freight rates are lower than in Bangladesh.
“During the last six months, the airline has increased the cost of cargo at will. The cost of air transport rose 40 percent in the last year,” said Mohammad Mansur, secretary general of Bangladesh Fruit, Vegetable and Allied Products Exporters’. association
“We have to pay higher rates for cargo space at carriers because there is a demand for clothes by air,” he added.
Vegetables, one of the main export items in agricultural products, saw a decline in income at a time when export receipts generally slowed down due to fears of recession and storage of the main export item, namely garments, in Europe and the US, which is Bangladesh’s main market.
Overall, export earnings from agricultural products fell 24 percent year-on-year in the July-October period, according to EPB data.
“If the rate of the US dollar is the same as the rate that the remitters receive, we can increase our competitiveness and increase our income,” said Mansur, urging Bangladesh Bank to take steps so that exporters and remitters receive the same price for the US dollar. .
Currently, exporters get Tk 99.50 for every US dollar while banks pay a maximum of Tk 107 to foreign exchange houses to collect remittances sent by Bangladeshi migrant workers from abroad.
The lower rate also encouraged exporters, he added.
Some exporters also cited lack of cooperation from officials at the Central Packing House under the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) for delaying shipments and export results.
“We are not getting the level of assistance from DAE,” said Mohammad Abul Hossain, proprietor of Lee Enterprise, an exporter of fresh vegetables and fruits.
Sayed Rafiqual Amin, director of Plant Quarantine Wing under DAE, said that they want to ensure exports by ensuring compliance, such as traceability of vegetables or fruits.
He then said some importers appreciate such steps.
“We are trying to provide easy and hassle-free services to exporters to speed up shipments,” Amin added.
SM Jahangir Hossain, president of BFVAPEA, expects export earnings to increase in the coming months due to the arrival of vegetables in winter, the main season for vegetables.
“Generally, July-October is a lean season for exports as we have to depend on limited stocks of summer and monsoon vegetables,” he said.
In addition, vegetables grown in Italy during the summer are exported to other countries in Europe.
“So, winter is a good season, when the supply of vegetables increases while the prices decrease,” Hossain added.