Apparel exports decline 4% to $16.7 bn; yarn shipments rise
Textile and clothing exports slid 0.4% in the last financial year (2017-2018) to $35 billion as apparel exports fell.
While exports of cotton yarn, fabrics and made ups grew 4%, outbound apparel shipments registered a 4% decline, reducing from $17.3 billion to $16.7 billion.
‘Cotton on upswing’
“Exports of cotton textiles are positive. But we need to get the momentum back in garments. When garments move, every segment [of the textile value chain] moves,” said Siddhartha Rajagopal, executive director of the Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council. Garment exports from Vietnam and Bangladesh were increasing, he pointed out.
A spokesperson of the Apparel Export Promotion Council said garment production had declined in the last 10 months. Further, international orders were not bad. “We could not bag the orders as our pricing was not competitive,” the spokesperson said.
A garment exporter who used to get ?7 or ?8 a piece from drawback is getting just ?2 or ?3 a piece now. There is positive feedback from the government on increasing the drawback rates. But this is yet to happen.
S.K. Jain, chairman of Confederation of Indian Textile Industry, said the industry was working with the government for revision of drawback rates and higher Rebate of State Levies. It has also sought amendment of the South Asia Free Trade Agreement with rules of origin clear for garment imports from Bangladesh. The fabric should be from India or Bangladesh. “Exports have slowed down for almost four years. Some serious thought should go into this by the Government and the industry,” he said.