Textile exports continue to decline

Textile exports continue to decline


When compared to the same month last year, textile and clothing exports fell 1.9% and 17.4%, respectively, in July. The total export of textiles and apparel from April to July 2023 decreased by 13.7% compared to the same period last year.

Introduction Of the Textile Industry of India 

One of the most important areas of the Indian economy is the textile industry, which has a long and illustrious history. India’s textile sector, which is renowned for its long history of craftsmanship and wide variety of textile goods, is essential to job creation, economic expansion, and international trade. With centuries-old roots, the industry has grown into a powerhouse, fusing old-world craftsmanship with cutting-edge manufacturing processes to serve both home and foreign markets.

Historical Background:

With ancient civilizations like the Indus Valley Civilization displaying sophisticated textile skills, India has a long history of being a centre for textile manufacturing. The textiles of the nation have long been prized for their unique patterns, vivid colours, and expert craftsmanship.

Employment and Contribution:

 The textile sector, which employs millions of people across a range of abilities, from highly skilled artisans to factory employees, is one of the greatest employers in India after agriculture. The sector makes a considerable contribution to the economy in terms of both employment and GDP.

Export Prowess:

 India is a major participant in the worldwide textile and garment trade, demonstrating its global textile prowess. It is among the top exporters of textiles and apparel in the world, with a wide range of products available, including both more contemporary, high-value items and classic fabrics like silk, cotton, and wool.

Product Diversity 

The industry produces a wide range of goods, such as fabrics, garments, household textiles, technical textiles, and more. India’s textile industry spans a wide range, from conventional sarees and delicate embroidery to high-tech materials utilized in sectors like automotive and healthcare.

Cultural Heritage:

Indian culture and traditions are intricately entwined with traditional textiles. The vast diversity of the nation is demonstrated by the distinctive weaving styles, dyeing processes, and design elements that each region uses. This cultural affinity frequently translates into a strong domestic market for traditional textiles.

What does the Data from the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) show?

  • Export Decrease: According to the data, exports of both apparel and textiles decreased. When compared to the same month last year, textile exports fell by 1.9%, but apparel exports fell by a greater 17.4%.
  • Cumulative Export Performance: From April to July 2023, textile and apparel exports decreased 13.7% compared to the same time last year. This indicates a significant decline in export performance throughout the designated four-month period.
  • Growth in Cotton Yarn, Fabrics, and Made-Ups: Cotton yarn, fabrics, and made-ups all saw growth among certain textile categories. When compared to July 2022 ($946.48 million), these products showed a growth of 6.62% in July 2018 ($1,009 million). Contrasting with the overall fall in exports is this positive growth.
  • Drop in Other Categories: Shipments of numerous other textile categories, such as man-made yarn, textiles, made-ups, jute products, carpets, and clothing items, decreased. Although the precise percentage decreases in these categories are not given, it is obvious that they had a part in the overall downward export trend.
  • Total Textile Export Value: In July 2023, textile exports totalled $1,663 million in value. This is a reduction from the $1,695 million that was recorded for the same month in 2022.
  • Apparel Exports: Exports of clothes have significantly decreased, with the value falling from $1,381 million in July 2022 to $1,141 million in July 2023, according to the data. This shows a significant fall in the performance of garment exports.
  • Expectations and Optimism: According to the data’s professional sources, the forecast for the industry is cautiously optimistic. They believe that a combination of factors, including falling merchant inventories and hopes for a strong cotton crop in the coming season, may cause demand to pick up.

What are the possible reasons for the decline of the trade?

  • Global Economic Conditions: Consumer spending and the demand for textiles and apparel can be affected by changes in the economies of major trading partners and international markets. Reduced demand for Indian textile products may result from weak economic conditions in major importing nations.
  • COVID-19 Pandemic: The COVID-19 pandemic’s continued impacts, such as lockdowns, travel restrictions, and supply chain disruptions, could have had a detrimental influence on both supply and demand. The fall may have been influenced by decreased consumer expenditure and modifications in consumption habits brought on by the pandemic.
  • Retailer Destocking: The phrase “U.S. retailers destocking” may refer to a planned decrease in inventory levels by retailers as a result of variables such as shifting consumer preferences, sluggish sales, or market concerns. This can result in less of demand for fresh shipments of textiles.
  • Costs of Raw Materials: Changes in the price of raw materials like cotton can have an impact on the industry’s entire cost structure. Increased input prices may affect how competitively priced Indian textile exports are.
  • Fluctuations in Exchange Rates: Exchange rate changes can affect how much exports cost. When compared to other major trading currencies, the Indian rupee’s strength can make Indian textiles significantly more expensive for global consumers.

What is the way Forward?

  • Increase Product Variety: Adding both traditional and contemporary items to the textile product line helps draw in a wider customer base. This can entail creating novel fabrics, using eco-friendly materials, and keeping an eye on current fashion trends around the world.
  • Enhance Quality and Design: Investing in R&D can help textile products compete more successfully on the international market by enhancing their quality, design, and innovation.
  • Sustainable practices: The sector can adapt to changing consumer preferences and legal obligations by adopting sustainable and environmentally friendly methods. This entails limiting waste, conserving water, and maintaining honest work practices.
  • Technology and digitalization: By embracing online platforms, digital marketing, and e-commerce, businesses may reach a wider audience and increase customer interaction.
  • Skills Development: The industry’s capabilities can be improved by continuously improving employee skills, notably in fields like design, technology, and sustainable practices