India’s apparel exports are estimated to have declined by 17 per cent in the first quarter of FY19 due to a slowdown in demand from developed countries following weak economic activity there.
Data compiled by the apex industry body, the Clothing Manufacturers’ Association of India (CMAI), showed India’s apparel exports at $1.35 billion and $1.34 billion in April and May 2018, a decline of 23 per cent and 17 per cent respectively. During FY18, apparel exports from India fell by 4 per cent to $16.72 billion.
“India’s overall apparel exports are estimated to have declined by 17 per cent in the quarter between April – June 2018 due to depressed economic conditions-led lower demand and growth. Consequently, Indian domestic market performed better during the first quarter of the current fiscal than the largest consumption regions like United States (23 per cent share in India’s overall apparel exports), European Union (38.4 per cent share) and Japan (1.1 per cent share),” said Rahul Mehta, President, CMAI recently.
“The introduction of GST has resulted in non-refund of several embedded taxes. Consequently, apparel exports for the financial year 2017-18 posted a decline. The downturn continues in FY 2018-19 with a month on month decline of 10 per cent. The Government is seized of the matter and has assured that embedded taxes will be refunded through the drawback route,” said Premal Udani, Managing Director, Kaytee Corporation, one of India’s largest kids' wear exporters.
Meanwhile, the apparel industry has raised concerns over the rising import of apparel from Bangladesh, which experts claimed had hit the domestic industry hard.
“The imports of textiles and apparel have reported a jump of 16 per cent to touch the highest ever of $7bn for the financial year 2017-18 compared to $6bn. All the categories across the value chain have seen a drastic rise in imports over the last few years,” said Sanjay Jain, Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI).