After a staggering 17 per cent decline in the April–June quarter, India’s textiles and clothing exports revived to witness a jump of 11 per cent in July due to favourable government policies and rupee depreciation. Data compiled by the DGCIS under the Union Ministry of Commerce showed total textiles and apparel exports at Rs. 196.36 bn ($2.86 bn) for July 2018 compared to Rs. 176.92 bn ($2.74 bn) for the corresponding month last year. Total textiles exports witnessed a jump of 15 per cent to Rs. 108.79 bn ($1.58 bn) for July 2018 versus Rs. 94.29 bn ($1.46 bn) in the comparable month of previous year. Moving in tandem, India’s apparel exports recorded a jump of 6 per cent to Rs. 87.57 bn ($1.27 bn) for July 2018 as against Rs. 82.63 bn ($1.28 bn) for the same month last year.
Sudden surge in India’s textiles and apparel exports, however, is attributed to supportive government policies which prompted the government to expedite refund on State and Goods and Services Tax (GST) levies on raw materials. Also depreciation in the rupee against the dollar helped Indian exporters to expedite execution of orders and also receivables. The textiles and clothing sector in India is on the verge of turnaround. Their exports have jumped in 11 per cent after a steep fall between April & July quarter. It seems the worst is over for India’s textiles and clothing industry, said Sanjay Jain, Chairman, Confederation of Indian Textile Industries (CITI).
Indian textile sector is the largest industrial employment provider, employing more than 100 mn people directly and indirectly and a major industry for the economic growth of the country. Overall growth in exports during Apr – July 2018, therefore, stood 3 per cent vis-à-vis same period last year. Further, the manmade fibre (MMF) segment, which is expected to be the growth driver of the industry in the coming years, has seen increase in production. Growth has been observed in production of man-made fibre, spun yarn and fabric during April-June 2018.
Refunds of State levies and GST have started coming in over the last few weeks. Apart from that, the government has given policy support to boost textile and clothing exports. Also, the rupee has depreciated below Rs. 70 level against a dollar. All these factors accumulatively acted to support India’s textiles and clothing exports in July. While, it is early to say that the worst is over for textile and clothing exports, we expected at least 7-8 per cent growth in their exports this year,” said Rahul Mehta, President, Clothing Manufacturers Association of India (CMAI).
India’s textile and clothing exports, however, remained flat at $39.2 bn in 2017-18, a marginal growth of $39 bn in the previous year. The imports growth of textile and clothing has come down significantly. While the imports of textiles and clothing has increased from $1.78 bn in April-June 2017 to $1.87 bn in the same period this year, an increase of 5 per cent, it is significantly lower than the growth of 16 per cent last year. The measures taken by the government to increase the import duty on various textile and apparel items will help in further reducing the imports in coming months.