Indian textile exports likely to fail in achieving official target $45-bn this fiscal

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-03-25 16:00:00 – New Delhi

India‘s overall textile and garment exports, which also include those of jute, coir and handicrafts, likely to increase by 4-5 percent reaching $41 billion this fiscal compared with $39.3 billion a year before mainly on higher shipments of garments and massive slowdown in Chinese demand for cotton and yarn. But, go amiss the official target of $45 billion, trade and industry sources said on Tuesday.

The official target would be missed, as China, which usually accounts for over 70% of India’s cotton and 40% of yarn supplies, has cut down on its purchases. Consequently, exports of raw cotton, including waste, and cotton yarn in the April-December period plunged by 36% and 12%, respectively, from a year before. Exports of textile products increased only 2.2% between April and December from a year earlier.

Despite the recognition of the textile sector’s role in the ‘Make in India’ concept as well as in jobs creation, with the Ajay Shankar-led panel envisaging annual outbound shipments worth $300 billion by 2024-25, a lack of adequate focus and proper planning in boosting exports have also taken a toll.

Importantly, the government is yet to come up with the textile vision document, which was to be based on the recommendations of the Ajay Shankar panel, even eight months after the report was first submitted to the textile ministry.

According to the provisional data, textile and garment exports, excluding jute, coir and handicrafts, touched $25.72 billion during the April-December period, up 4.7% from a year before. Handicraft exports had hit $3.9 billion in the last fiscal, recording growth of 18% year-on-year, but industry executives said that the growth would be as much as 5-7% in the outward supplies of these items in the current fiscal. The jute and coir exports, although not so significant in the overall basket, are expected to grow in the 10-15% range

DK Nair, secretary general of the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry said that the speculations are rife that the Chinese govenrment has stipulated that on the purchase of every bale of cotton from overseas, a mill there has to buy four bales from domestic sources, which has dragged down imports. It has also been offloading cotton from its reserves. Moreover, the Chinese economy is also going through a slowdown, affecting demand.

According to Virender Uppal, chairman of the Apparel Export Promotion Council, garment exports witnessed growth of 13.4% during the April-February period to $15.26 billion from a year earlier that means the export growth slowed since Janaury after recording a 16% increase until December this fiscal.

But as per the index of industrial production data, the textile segment witnessed growth of just 2.1% from April to January this year from a year before.

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