India’s textile and clothing (T&C) sector has witnessed a decline in the export market for a second consecutive year now. Export earnings totalled to US$ 30898.64 million with a drop of 9.7% in 2020-21 over the previous fiscal. USA remains India’s largest market. Product-wise, knitted apparel was the largest category of exports, accounting for 21% share in total T&C exports. Covid-19 pandemic, lockdown restrictions and low demand have resulted in a decline in exports to all the major markets except China. T&C exports to China showed a positive growth due to huge demand for Indian cotton.
India’s cotton exports improve
Raw cotton exports rose by 78.60% to US$ 1913.21 million, with UVR of US$ 1.57 per kg in 2020-21.
The growing demand for Indian cotton by Bangladesh, China and Vietnam, has helped the product to excel in the international market. India’s cotton exports rose by 10% to US$ 6315.95 million in 2020-21 over the previous fiscal. Bangladesh remains the largest export market for this commodity. Exports to Bangladesh totalled to US$ 1777.06 million with a growth of 7.7% in 2020-21 over the previous fiscal. China and Vietnam witnessed a growth of 64.18% and 103.9% respectively.
Cotton yarn remains the leading commodity under cotton exports, accounting for a share of 44% in the total cotton textile (HS code 52) exports of India. Exports of cotton yarn totalled US$ 2790.65 million with a rise of 1.1 % in 2020-21. Around 1009.66 million kgs of cotton yarn was exported out of the country and on average commodity was traded at US$ 2.76 kg Cotton fabric exports have declined by 15.3% to US$ 1612.06 million and registered a UVR of US$ 0.91 per sqm.
Knitwear exports down by 15.5%
Knitwear apparel is now the largest exported commodity in India’s T&C segment for 2020-21, with a share of 21% of total T&C exports. Knitwear exports were down by 15.5% to U$ 6347.52 million.
USA remains the largest market with an export value of US$ 1700.83 million, but declined by 14.2% in 2020-21 over the previous fiscal. Exports to all the major markets have witnessed a decline.
Cotton t-shirt remains the most exported product under knitwear. Exports of cotton t-shirts were US$ 1469.93 million, a drop 21.2% in 2020-21. India exported around 605 million pieces of cotton t-shirts to the world at average UVR of US$ 2.4 per piece.
Woven apparel exports fell 25.6%
Woven apparel exports witnessed a fall of 25.6% in 2020-21, to US$ 5941.73 million. The commodity stakes a share of 19% and is second largest commodity exported under the T&C sector. Here too USA remains the largest export market, exports totalled US$ 1592.04 million, a drop of 30% in 2020-21. Exports to UAE witnessed a rise of 6% to US$ 695.26 million, after a continuous steep decline for the last few years.
Despite the pandemic, exports to China grew 40.4%
China is the now the fifth largest market for India’s T&C exports in 2020-2 and exports grew by 40.4% to US$ 1560.93 million. Cotton is the most exported product to China; exports went up by 64.2% to US$ 1277.24 million in 2020-21 over the previous fiscal. Cotton textile stakes a share of 82% in the total T&C exports to China in 2020-21.
Under the cotton segment, cotton yarn was exported the most to China, exports totalled to US$ 667.93 million with a growth of 14%. Around 275.67 million kgs of Indian cotton yarn were imported by China. Indian cotton yarn exporters traded the product at US$ 2.42 per kg (average price) to the Chinese buyers. Raw cotton exports witnessed a huge growth of 223.5% to US$ 604.25 million in 2020-21 over the previous fiscal where the exports value totalled to US$ 186.87 million. India sold around 116.20 million kgs of raw cotton to China and recorded average UVR of US$ 1.61 per kg.
Exports to Bangladesh marginally down, cotton on positive trend
Bangladesh is now the third largest export market for India’s T&C goods. Exports to Bangladesh witnessed a marginal decline of 2% to US$ 2130.47 million in 2020-21. The country stakes 7% share in the total T&C exports of India.
Cotton textiles is the only commodity to perceive a positive growth within India’s total T&C exports to Bangladesh, while others have declined. Cotton textile exports to Bangladesh grew by 7.7% to US$ 1777.06 million. Within cotton textiles, raw cotton exports grew by 27.7% to US$ 799.59 million. Volumewise, India exported 483.72 million kgs of raw cotton to Bangladesh, at an average UVR of US$ 1.65 per kg.
Bangladesh imported around 233.36 million kgs of cotton yarn from India and value of the imports totalled to US$ 671.63 million with growth of 13.7%. Cotton yarn was traded at an average UVR of US$ 2.88 per kg in 2020-21, while in the previous fiscal it was US$ 3.03 per kg.
India’s T&C exports to USA fall 3%
USA stakes 26% share in the total T&C exports of India. The exports totalled to US$ 8009.12 million a drop of 3% in 2020-21 over the previous fiscal.
Knitwear exports dropped by 14.2% to US$ 1700.83 million in 2020-21. Babies garments is the largest exported product under this segment with an export of US$ 263.77 million, a slight increase of 1.6%.
Woven apparel exports dropped by 29.5% to US$ 1592.04 million. Women’s suits and jacket was the leading product in this segment. The exports of this product totalled to US$ 516.34 million, falling 26%, given the work from home situation in the US. Cotton textiles exports increased by 16.13% to US$ 108.26 million, while exports of carpets rose by 17.4% to US$ 1063.37 million.
Raw cotton exports to Vietnam up 103.91%
Vietnam which stakes 2% in the total T&C exports of India, witnessed a growth of 55.2% in 2020-21. The exports totalled to US$ 482.13 million. India received a good demand for cotton from Vietnam, the exports of cotton totalled to US$ 420.18 million with a growth of 103.91%.
Exports to the EU fall 14%
India’s T&C exports to EU registered a drop of 14% to US$ 5626.30 million in 2020-21. Both knitwear and woven apparels have dropped by 16% and 23% respectively. Cotton textile exports that totalled to US$ 388.77 million too registered a drop of 6.2%. EU markets, namely Germany, France, Spain, Netherland and Italy, are among the top 10 markets for India’s T&C exports. India’s exports to all these markets suffered a setback in 2020-21.