Goods are piling up in Bangladesh’s readymade garment factories. Buyers from European countries have asked their suppliers to delay product shipment due to the global COVID-19 outbreak. This means that the factories will incur huge losses for putting shipments on hold and might face a shortage of working capital as payment from buyers would be deferred till delivery of products. So they are facing difficulties including shortage of space in warehouses and scarcity of running capital due to the shipment delay. Manufacturers produce products taking bank loans against back-to-back letters of credit and now bank loans taken by factory owners might be classified due to non-payment.
Buyers want shipments to be delayed for a few weeks as stores in buyers’ countries face a dwindling number of shoppers due to the coronavirus outbreak. Some buyers in Europe especially from Italy, Spain and Ireland have cancelled orders and some have downsized their requirements.
The pandemic broke out in China in December last year and has now spread to over 115 countries. Three people were tested positive for coronavirus for the first time in Bangladesh on March 8 and two more cases were detected recently.