GETS GOOD PUSH DUE TO DOMESTIC DEMAND
Notwithstanding loss of work for nearly two months and partial cancellation of orders when Covid-19 struck the key markets of US and EU, the multi-crore knitwear industry in Tirupur is on the course to recovery by clocking over Rs 14,000 crore in exports in the first eight months of this fiscal.
Manufacturers in Tirupur have exported apparels worth Rs 14,150 crore from April-November 2020, which is just Rs 3,000 crore less than what they achieved during the same period in the 2019-2020 financial year.
Covid-19 lockdown in India and in the key markets did affect production and orders for the industry, but “trial test” by some firms to move out of China has resulted in growth for the knitwear cluster in Tirupur.
Production came to a grinding halt in the last week of March and it continued till the first few weeks of May, except for units that took to manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPEs) and face masks.
Though production began in May, the industry is still hit by labour shortage, exporters say.
Exporters’ in Tirupur hope that the total exports from the city this 2020-2021 financial year will hit Rs 24,000 crore with four more months to go.
The fiscal began on a sad note with exports locking just Rs 76 crore in the month of April, which increased ten folds to Rs 790 crore in May, and the highest so far was in the month of September when the value of apparel exports from Tirupur stood at 2,440 crore.
In the 2019-2020 fiscal, the exports figure stood at Rs 27,280 crore, a slight dip from Rs 27,650 crore in 2018-2019 fiscal.
In the first eight months of the current fiscal, Tirupur accounted for 51 percent share of India’s total exports in the apparel sector.
Besides the anti-Chinese sentiments, new orders from several key players in the US and EU markets to update their portfolios also led to early recovery of the industry.
“Tirupur should “resolve” internal issues like removing inconsistency in quality and quantity, and non-timely delivery of finished goods to grab opportunities that move out of China.
If self-correction happens fast, Tirupur can become the prime hub for international apparel buyers. Once this happens, we can ask the government here to support us further in terms of policy,” said Raja M. Shanmugham.
Not just exports.
Stocking up by domestic brands has been high, driving business.
“Domestic demand is matching exports and can surpass exports, if the present demand continues. Tirupur usually exports 60% of its merchandise and the rest is dispatched to the domestic markets.
American embargo on exports of cotton from China and knitwear made using Chinese cotton is helping Indian exporters. Also, the INR/Euro which was at 78.97 last year is now 89.47.
This is a leg up considering European Union is the largest importer of Tirupur garments.