Garment export growth slows to 16% in Sept after August jump

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 29 2014, 07:33am hrs
Having risen an impressive 23% year-on-year in August, India's garment export growth slowed to 16% in September, but the situation is still better than the last fiscal, considering an unfavourable base, shows latest data by the Apparel Exports Promotion Council (AEPC).

Apparel exports hit $1.3 billion last month, up from just over $1.1 billion a year earlier. Driven by robust growth especially in August exports during April-September hit $8.3 billion, up 17.6% from a year earlier, aided by an almost steady flow of orders from the US and Europe as well as a weak rupee. The country's garment exports rose 15.4% last fiscal to $14.94 billion after witnessing a fall a year before, outperforming a just 4% growth in overall exports.

However, the exports still fell short of the textile ministry's ambitious target of $17 billion for the last fiscal, as an absence of policy interventions and a strengthening rupee after initial depreciation against the dollar hurt exporters' competitiveness.

AEPC chairman Virender Uppal said increasing labour costs in China, non-compliance of international safety norms at a large number of factories in Bangladesh, high inflation rate and currency appreciation, etc, in some of the competing countries helped India's exports this fiscal. "But to capture the space in the export market left by China and Bangladesh, we have to be competitive in pricing, apart from meeting timelines and better quality delivery by Indian exporters," he said, seeking some policy support from the government to promote exports.