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Dropping sales in the West, along with growing prices caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, is the dark cloud on the horizon for Bangladesh’s already struggling apparel industry. According to exporters, overseas buyers are cancelling new contracts and deferring old ones, causing the industry’s earnings to plummet in the coming months. Shahidullah Azim, vice-president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, anticipates a $500 million drop in August shipments from $2.88 billion in July.Export orders have decreased in August and its effects will be seen in September and October, according to him. “Many buyers are holding up orders. Walmart has cut orders by 30 percent.”

The industry’s condition bore a brighter outlook months ago. After it earned $42.2 billion in 2021-22, the government targeted $46 billion worth of exports from the apparel sector for the current fiscal year, although fears of a fallout from the war raging in Europe grew after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February.