Clothing exporters miss $ 1.4 billion sales target
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) – August 10, 2021 – 00h00
MANILA, Philippines – The country’s clothing exports are expected to fall below the projection of $ 1.4 billion for the year due to disruption due to pandemic-induced lockdowns and shipping space constraints, a declared the Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (FOBAP).
“Quick math … we’ll be lucky if we hit $ 1 billion by the end of the year,” FOBAP President Robert Young said yesterday.
He said the country’s clothing exports are expected to fall below the target of $ 1.2 billion to $ 1.4 billion for this year as exporters face order cancellations due to disruptions due the imposition of blockages due to the threat of the more transmissible Delta variant.
Bataan, where many clothing exporters operate, is among the areas that were placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) or the more stringent quarantine classification from August 8 to 22.
Young said all manufacturing activities by exporting locators to the Bataan free port area have been ordered to halt operations during the ECQ given the upsurge in coronavirus cases.
While garment exporters located in the Economic Zone Authority areas of the Philippines and factory suppliers in Clark and Laguna are operational, he said their productivity is affected by the lack of transportation, the cover- fire and other restrictions.
Besides the lockdowns, he said clothing exporters continue to face other challenges such as lack of shipping space.
“The shipping space crisis, which has also caused cancellations of previous orders, is still on our shoulders and does not seem to have a solution yet,” he said.
“The best effort is to outsource to subcontractors, if production space is available,” he added.
With clothing products intended to be sold and used for a specific season, it is important that these items are dispatched on time.
“We understand cancellations because the clothing is a seasonal product,” Young said.