Apparel exports from India dropped by 3.83 per cent to $16.716 bn in April-March 2017-18, compared to exports of $17.382 bn in fiscal 2016-17, according to data from Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S), Kolkata, under the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India. March 2018 showed fall of 17.78 per cent y-o-y. In March 2018, India’s readymade garment exports were to the tune of $1.491 bn as against exports of $1.813 bn in the corresponding month of the previous fiscal. In rupee terms, exports during the month stood at Rs.9,694.68 cr as against Rs. 11,946.37 cr in March 2017, registering a decline of 18.85 per cent.

Commenting on the latest figures, Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) Chairman HKL Magu said, India’s apparel exports are now in a recessionary zone. “These figures clearly show that apparel exports are not only stagnating but are heading towards recession. The apparel manufacturing has already registered a decline for the 10th straight month in February. This clearly indicates towards an ongoing shrinkage in the industry, which is a big cause of concern.”

“The (RMG) sector presently employs 12.9 mn workers but due to the ongoing slide, several clusters have been impacted. While India is struggling with the problem of stagnation in exports, countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam are showing a consistent growth in their apparel exports. We would like the government to address the issue at the earliest,” Magu said.