Bangladesh’s Top 10 Exports

Bangladeshi flag

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A South Asian nation physically located near economic powerhouses India and China, the People’s Republic of Bangladesh shipped US$39.6 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2017. That dollar amount reflects a 61.2% increase since 2013 and a 1.1% uptick from 2016 to 2017.

Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Bangladesh’s exported goods plus services represent 15.5% of total Bangladeshi economic output or Gross Domestic Product. Please note that the overall value of exported goods and services includes re-exports. The analysis below focuses on exported products only.

Given Bangladesh’s population of 157.8 million people, its total $39.6 billion in 2017 exports translates to roughly $250 for every resident in the West Asian country.

Bangladesh’s unemployment rate was an estimated 4.2% in 2017 down from 4.9% during 2016, according to Trading Economics.

Bangladesh’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Bangladeshi global shipments during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Bangladesh.

At the more detailed four-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, Bangladesh’s most valuable export products are unknitted and non-crocheted men’s suits and trousers followed by knitted or crocheted t-shirts and vests, knitted or crocheted jerseys and pullovers then unknitted and non-crocheted women’s clothing.

  1. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: US$17.5 billion (44.2% of total exports)
  2. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $16.6 billion (41.9%)
  3. Miscellaneous textiles, worn clothing: $1 billion (2.6%)
  4. Footwear: $930.4 million (2.4%)
  5. Paper yarn, woven fabric: $725.7 million (1.8%)
  6. Fish: $626.9 million (1.6%)
  7. Headgear: $296.9 million (0.8%)
  8. Leather/animal gut articles: $272.0 million (0.7%)
  9. Raw hides, skins not furskins, leather: $143.7 million (0.4%)
  10. Plastics, plastic articles: $91.9 million (0.2%)

Bangladesh’s top 10 exports are highly concentrated accounting for 96.5% of the overall value of its global shipments.

Plastics and plastic articles were the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories from 2016 to 2017, up by 8.6% from 2016 to 2017.

In second place for improving export sales were leather/animal gut articles which was appreciated 6.8%.

Miscellaneous textiles and worn clothing posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 6%, trailed by headgear up by 5.9%.

Leading the declining product categories among the top 10 Bangladeshi exports was raw hides. skins other than furskins, and leather. That category shrank -33.1% year over year.

Advantages

The following types of Bangladeshi product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.

In a nutshell, net exports represent the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

  1. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: US$17.4 billion (Up by 4.2% since 2016)
  2. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $16.4 billion (Down by -1.1%)
  3. Miscellaneous textiles, worn clothing: $988 million (Up by 6.8%)
  4. Footwear: $712.2 million (Down by -0.7%)
  5. Fish: $608.0 million (Up by 5.8%)
  6. Paper yarn, woven fabric: $571.5 million (Down by -10.3%)
  7. Headgear: $279.5 million (Up by 6.5%)
  8. Leather/animal gut articles: $190.1 million (Up by 23.1%)
  9. Tobacco, manufactured substitutes: $79.3 million (Up by 11.7%)
  10. Feathers, artificial flowers, hair: $21.7 million (Up by 30.5%)

Bangladesh has highly positive net exports in the international trade of apparel. In turn, these cashflows indicate Bangladesh’s strong competitive advantages under the two leading product categories.

Opportunities

Overall Bangladesh incurred a -$6.6 billion trade deficit during 2017, up by 80.9% from -$3.7 billion in 2016.

Below are exports from Bangladesh that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Bangladesh’s goods trail Bangladeshi importer spending on foreign products.

  1. Machinery including computers: -US$5.7 billion (Up by 8.3% since 2016)
  2. Cotton: -$5.3 billion (Down by -1.6%)
  3. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$3.4 billion (Up by 11.9%)
  4. Mineral fuels including oil: -$3.1 billion (Up by 52.2%)
  5. Cereals: -$2.2 billion (Up by 156.3%)
  6. Iron, steel: -$2 billion (Down by -1.5%)
  7. Plastics, plastic articles: -$1.8 billion (Down by -3.7%)
  8. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: -$1.6 billion (Up by 13.1%)
  9. Vehicles: -$1.6 billion (Up by 3.1%)
  10. Manmade staple fibers: -$1.6 billion (Up by 4%)

Bangladesh has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for machinery including computers, notably knitting and stitch-bonding machines.

Companies

Bangladeshi Export Companies

Not one Bangladeshi corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000.

Wikipedia does list a number of exporters located in Bangladesh. Selected examples are shown below:

  • Advanced Chemical Industries (pharmaceuticals, consumer brands, agribusiness)
  • ASM Chemical Industries (industrial chemicals)
  • Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (oil products)
  • Beximco Pharma (pharmaceuticals)
  • Dragon Group (clothing, notably sweaters)
  • Kazi Farms Group (poultry)
  • KDS Group (garments, textiles, steel)
  • Petrobangla (oil, natural gas, minerals)
  • Pragoti (automobiles)
  • Walton (motorcycles)


 
Bangladesh’s capital city is Dhaka, formerly called Dacca and the country’s largest city in terms of population and geographic area.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level.

See also Bangladesh’s Top 10 Imports, Top Asian Export Countries and Highest Value US Export Products

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on May 15, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on May 15, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on May 15, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on May 15, 2018

Wikipedia, Bangladesh. Accessed on May 15, 2018

Wikipedia, Category:Companies of Bangladesh. Accessed on May 15, 2018

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Bangladesh. Accessed on May 15, 2018

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on May 15, 2018