India’s apparel exports declined 35% in March 2020: CMAI

Apparel exports from India showed a steep decline of 35 per cent and stood at $1.120 billion in March 2020 compared to March 2019, according to the May 2020 monthly newsletter of The Clothing Manufacturers’ Association of India (CMAI). The decline was 24 per cent when compared to February 2020. This decline was due to the COVID-19 lockdown in major markets.
Apparel exports to the US increased by 2 per cent in FY 2020 as compared to that in FY 2019 and that to Saudi Arab increased by 22 per cent. However, the apparel exports to other major markets, specially UAE and Germany, declined considerably.

Meanwhile, apparel imports in March 2020 stood at $57 million, showing a decrease of 34 per cent from that in March 2019 and a decrease of 30 per cent from that in February 2020, the CMAI newsletter, prepared in association with Wazir Advisors, said.

However, the apparel imports of FY 2020 showed an increase of 3 per cent as compared to that in FY 2019. Apparel imports from Bangladesh and China increased by 10 per cent and 9 per cent, respectively in FY 2020 as compared to that in FY 2019. India also reported an increase in apparel imports from Hong Kong and Vietnam by 42 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively. India’s apparel imports from Sri Lanka has shown a significant decline of 40 per cent.

The index of industrial production (IIP) for apparel was valued at 154 in March 2020, recording a steep decline of 20 per cent as compared to that in March 2019 and decline of 13 per cent as compared to that in February 2020. The COVID-19 induced nationwide lockdown resulted in temporary closure of factories and hence, a decline in apparel production.

The consumer price index (CPI) for apparel remained constant at a value of 151 in March 2020, showing an increase of 2 per cent as compared to that in March 2019.

Analysis of financial filings of select apparel manufacturers and fashion brands and retailers for Q3 FY 2020 over Q3 FY 2019 showed an increase in their operating revenue as well as operating profit margin (OPM). Majority of the apparel manufacturers have shown a decline in their OPM. However, Bang Overseas has shown a significant improvement in its OPM from 2.8 per cent in Q3 FY 2019 to 10.2 per cent in Q3 FY 2020.

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