September 11, 2018 / 12:59 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Bangladesh exports down 11.7 pct yr/yr in August

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DHAKA, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Bangladesh’s exports fell to $3.2 billion in August, down 11.7 percent from a year earlier and nearly 1 percent below target, government data showed on Tuesday.

But for July and August, the first two months of the country’s 2018-19 financial year, exports rose 2.5 percent to $6.79 billion from a year earlier, the Export Promotion Bureau said.

Shipments of readymade garments, comprising knitwear and woven items, totalled $5.74 billion in July and August, up 3.8 percent on the year.

Exporters attributed the drop in August to holidays for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

The garments industry is a key foreign-exchange earner for the South Asian nation, whose low wages and duty-free access to Western markets have helped make it the world’s second-largest clothing exporter after China.

The industry, which supplies many Western brands, came under scrutiny after a series of fatal factory accidents, including a 2013 building collapse that killed more than 1,130 people.

The government has set an export target of $39 billion for the 2018-19 financial year, up from $36.67 billion the previous year, with readymade garments earning $32.69 billion. (Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Nick Macfie and Clarence Fernandez)

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