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Slight uptick in Indian apparel exports likely

India’s apparel exports are expected to grow at a modest pace of one to two per cent year on year for the rest of fiscal 2018-19. This is expected to be the fourth consecutive weak year for India’s apparel exports. With several internal as well as external headwinds, the past year turned out to be rather challenging for India’s apparel exporters. Transition to the new taxation regime, besides posing liquidity challenges for the industry, added to uncertainties because of alternating stances on export incentives during the year. Further, a stronger rupee heightened the challenges in the international market by affecting the competitiveness of players in an intensely competitive international apparel market.

However, with faster GST refunds, improved clarity on the rate of export incentives and the sharp rupee depreciation witnessed over the past few months, most of the industry’s concerns stand addressed to a large extent. Bangladesh and Vietnam have been key gainers from China’s loss of share in the global export market over the past couple of years. Vietnam is maintaining a healthy growth in its stronghold market of the US. Bangladesh continues to gain share in Europe. India’s apparel exports have exhibited an unencouraging trend, with a marginal de-growth of one per cent in fiscal 2018 as well as in the period April-July of fiscal 2019.