India's textile and apparel exports jump by 14% in November

After a staggering 38 per cent jump in October, India’s textile and apparel exports growth moderated to 14 per cent in November due to a sharp volatility in the rupee against the dollar.

Data compiled by the Union Ministry of Textiles showed India’s textile and apparel exports at Rs 189.65 billion for the month of November 2018 compared to Rs 167.07 billion in the corresponding month last year. For the period between April and November, however, total textile and apparel exports witnessed a growth of 7 per cent to Rs 1600.10 billion for 2018 versus Rs 1492.54 billion in the same period last year.

In dollar term, however, India’s textiles and apparel exports recorded a mere 2 per cent jump to $2.64 billion for November 2018 versus 2.57 billion for the same month last year. For the period between April and November, however, total textile and apparel exports remained flat at $23.18 billion.

“This is the normal growth in textile and apparel sector,” said Sanjay Jain, Chairman, Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) by adding, “This growth momentum would continue for the rest of the months in 2018-19.”

Interestingly, textile exports jumped by 9 per cent to Rs 108.53 billion for November 2018 from Rs 99.87 billion for the same month last year. Apparel exports also followed suit and jumped by 21 per cent to Rs 81.12 billion in November 2018 from Rs 67.20 billion in the same month last year.

“The old duty drawback rate was very attractive which came to an end in September 2017. Because of this attractive scheme, Indian exporters advanced their delivery schedules to avail the benefit of duty drawback scheme. Consequently, textile and apparel exports skyrocketed in September 2017 which set the high base for coming months. Therefore, their export one year later in September 2018 declined sharply. From that level, however, exports are normalizing which we believe would continue in future as well to end the current financial year flat,” said Rahul Mehta, President, Clothing Manufacturers’ Association of India (CMAI).

Echoing similar response, S Rajagopal, Executive Director, Cotton Textile Export Promotion Council (Texprocil), said that Indian textile and apparel are going to all countries including China. “The recovery in the US economy has given a boost to India’s textile and apparel exports. Since, the US economy is on continuous growth path, we expect India’s textile and apparel export growth to continue,” said Rajagopal.

Meanwhile, the government of Bangladesh has approved 25 per cent increase in wages for its labour which will escalate cost of textile and apparel production higher there. Also, exports from Vietnam are also gradually achieving saturation.

“All these will would benefit textile and apparel exports from India in future,” said Rajagopal.

India registered a growth of 5.37 per cent in textile and apparel exports in 2017, reaching a level of $37.44 billion. India’s share in world trade in textile and clothing during this year is estimated to be 4.95 per cent. With these exports, India is ranked second amongst the suppliers in the world. However, its exports are 1/7th of the level of exports from China.

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