Woven Fabric Exports Tad Down in May 2017

Woven fabric exports were down 4 per cent both in terms of shipment and value and 11 per cent in May 2017. Shipments aggregated 361 million sq meters during the month valued at US$268 million or INR1,700 crore. Total domestic production in all sectors was at 5,335 million sq motres during May, implying exports accounting for about 7 per cent for the month. Unit value realization averaged US$0.74 per sq metre in May 2017, the same as in May 2016 but down Rs 2 in Rupee terms at INR 47.30 per sq. metre.

This May 141 countries imported woven fabrics from India, with Bangladesh being the largest importer, followed by UAE and Sri Lanka. The thee together accounted for 35 per cent of total woven fabrics during the month. In May 2017, 11 countries did not import any fabric from India as they did last year. However, they were replaced by 18 countries which imported fabric worth US$4.6 million this May.

Afghanistan, Hungary, Suriname, Lithuania, Malta, Denmark, Austria, Maldives, Nepal and Estonia were the 10 fastest growing markets for woven fabrics, and accounted for 3 per cent of total value exported in May.

Cotton Fabrics Dominates

Woven fabrics made of 100% cotton accounted for 42 per cent of all fabrics exported, worth US$111 million (INR710 crore) with volumes at 134 million sq metres. The average unit price realization was at US$0.83 a kg, about a cent more than a year ago.

Cotton fabrics were followed by fabrics made of filament yarns and blended spun yarns in May, comprising 108 million sq metres and 68 million sq metres, respectively. Among 100% man-made fabric export, polyester fabrics shipment was at 4 million sq metres worth US$ 3 million.

Denim Exports on the Rise

Plain fabrics accounted for 66 per cent of all kinds of woven fabrics exported in May 2017, but were down 4 per cent on year on year comparison. Shipment totaled 287 million sq meters values US$176 million. Bangladesh, United Arab Emirates and USA were the top markets for plain fabrics. Denim was the second largest woven fabric exported in May (US$ 27 million), posting an increase of 9 per cent year on year. They were mainly imported by Bangladesh, Lesotho, Egypt, Colombia, South Korea and Turkey. Denim exports to these markets were worth more than US$20 million. Shirting/suiting and sarees were the other top fabrics exported from India in May this year.

Heavy Weight Fabric More in Demand

About 65 per cent of all woven fabrics exported were of light weight (<136 GSM) worth US$174 million and medium weight (>136 < 271 GSM) valued at US$57 million (21 per cent). They were mainly exported to Bangladesh, United Arab Emirates and Sri Lanka. Heavy weight fabrics valued at US$37 million were exported largely to Bangladesh, USA and Lesotho. While light and medium weight fabrics export declined year on year, heavy weight exports increased 10 per cent, while the same to Lesotho were exponentially high.

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