Figures suggesting textile exports are picking up again: Piyush Goyal

The country’s textile exports showed signs of growth after being hit by issues such as foreign exchange problems in many countries and large inventories due to the Russia-Ukraine war, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said on Saturday.

The textile minister also expressed hope that cotton and yarn exports would restart from April.

“Textile exports have a double problem. Many countries are struggling with foreign exchange problems after the Ukraine conflict, which is why many destinations have reduced non-essential imports,” he told reporters here.

Citing an example, he said an Indian shipment of 100 containers to Egypt came back as the African nation had no foreign exchange to pay for it.

Many countries do not accept non-essential goods from outside their territory, he added.

Another reason, he said, was that there was a lot of pent-up demand post-Covid, with people buying large volumes of products such as textiles, gemstones and jewellery.

But just after the Ukraine conflict, inflation skyrocketed, and with rising inflation and the stress in economies, “we saw” inventories piling up and people slowing down their procurements, he said.

“I have been regularly engaged with export promotion councils and the latest information is that most stocks have now been depleted and economies are starting to get back into shape. I think the world has somehow learned to live with the challenges and the crisis… and the numbers also seem to indicate that exports are picking up again,” Goyal told reporters here.

He answered a question about the reason for the decline in textile exports.

On the decline in cotton and yarn exports, he said outbound shipments were “all-time high” last year due to inflation.

This year prices are “quite depressed” due to international problems and therefore there has been a drop in cotton and yarn exports. “We hope this will revive from April 1st as well,” he added.

Ready-made garments from all textiles fell by about 3.5 percent to 1.5 billion US dollars in January. However, from April to January of this fiscal year, it rose 5.22 percent to $13.4 billion.

Exports of cotton yarn, fabrics, make-up and handwoven products fell 28.7 percent to US$9 billion from April to January of this fiscal year.

In addition, he said that textile exports from Bangladesh receive preferential tariffs in developed markets as it is a least developed country.

Now India is following the path of free trade agreements to obtain preferential tariffs for its textile industry, which would help boost exports, the minister said.

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