Bangladesh exports rose 31 pct yr/yr in September

DHAKA, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Bangladesh's exports rose in September for the third month in a row thanks to improving garment orders, official data showed on Tuesday.

Exports jumped 31.3 percent in September from a year earlier to $1.9 billion, the Export Promotion Bureau said. Total exports for July-September, the first quarter of Bangladesh's financial year, were up 2.1 percent to $6.29 billion.

From March through June, Bangladesh's monthly exports were lower than the previous year.

In September, exports of ready-made garments were $1 billion in September, compared with $995 million in the same month of 2011. For the three months ended in September, garment exports totalled $4.99 billion, 3.8 percent more than a year earlier.

Garment orders were slowly picking up from buyers such as the United States, China and Japan, said Anwar-Ul-Alam Chowdhury, former president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), which represents the country's 4,500 garment factories.

However, he said garment exports in the current fiscal year will be less than 10 percent higher than a year earlier due to the slowdown in global economy.

For the financial year ended June 30, garment exports rose 6.6 percent to $19 billion while total exports increased 5.9 percent to $24.3 billion - short of a government's $26.5 billion target as garment demand from key Western markets waned.

The government set an export target of $28 billion for the fiscal year that began on July 1.

In recent years, there's been a dramatic shift in global garment orders from China to lower-cost Bangladesh, whose garment factories employ around 4 million workers, mostly women.

Bangladesh's low labour costs have helped it join the global supply chain for low-end clothing, making garments for companies such as H&M , Tesco , JC Penney , Wal-Mart , Kohl's , Marks & Spencer and Carrefour .

(Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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