India kicked off 2020 on a negative note in its global apparel exports, according to statistics released by Ministry of Commerce, India.
The country exported US $ 1,452.84 million worth of garments in January 2020 as against US $ 1,528.19 million in January 2019. India noted a steep fall of 4.93 per cent and that’s not a good figure to start the year.
Knitted garment category slumped by 9.26 per cent to clock US $ 639.46 million revenue in exports, while woven category fell by 1.23 per cent and hit US $ 813.38 million revenue.
Markedly, India decelerated in its single largest market USA as well by 0.37 per cent and shipped US $ 402.11 million worth of garments in January 2020 as against US $ 403.63 million worth of shipment in January 2019.
Raja Shanmugham, President, Tirupur Exporters’ Association (TEA), expressed his views on the export performance of India and told Apparel Resources that the fall is unexpected. “We all were hopeful that January will be a positive month but, sadly, data differs. This might have happened due to low liquidity flow which has been widely spoken about on various platforms,” shared Raja, adding, “Due to this, we could not ship on time and some of the shipments got stuck in January, but I am sure this will reflect in February data.”
It may be mentioned here that India surged by 3.56 per cent on Y-o-Y basis in 2019 and exported US $ 16.25 billion worth of garments till December. So, the industry was hopeful to see continued growth from January onwards as well, which could not happen.
Since falling exports has become a trend and India has not been able to grab shift coming from China and neither has it seen any major policy changes from the Government to boost the export, Raja opined colonial legacy is a key factor behind dismal performance of India’s RMG industry.
“All headquarters of major apparel and textile associations as well as EPCs are based either in Delhi or Mumbai and owned by corporates, which is hurting the growth and we can’t see any structural changes to empower industry,” claimed Raja boldly. However, he suggested measures that the Government can take to revive falling exports.
“We need to create an official board region-wise in India keeping the region’s strength on priority. Authority of these boards must be handed over to regional leaderships. For example, Denim Board can be established in Bengaluru or Mumbai; Handloom Board can be made in Karur and similarly Knitting Board can be formed in Tirupur. Along with this, repeated leadership and colonial legacy must be abolished if we want India’s apparel industry to grow,” concluded Raja on a strong note.