Garment exporters worried as Covid cases rise in US, Europe

Garment exporters worried as Covid cases rise in US, Europe

Photo for representation only

Vijay C Roy

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20

Uncertainty is looming over readymade garment exporters in the northern region as the second wave of Covid has forced many European countries to impose the lockdown again.

The European Union accounts for around 30% of India’s garments exports. Overall, India’s garment exports dropped 4% year-on-year in FY20 to $15.5 billion.

According to the exporters, countries such as France, Germany and the UK have already imposed the lockdown again and they apprehend if the situation worsens many countries would follow the suit.

The exports had started showing signs of revival with the expectations of a surge in foreign orders before the Christmas after a slump amid the pandemic. However, they are staring at losses again as the second wave of Covid has hit the US and Europe.

Stare at huge losses

Amid the pandemic, the exports nosedived by 90% in April and 63% in May this year. If the lockdown is imposed in European countries again, we will suffer huge losses. —Harish Dua, MD, KG exports, Ludhiana

“Amid the pandemic, the exports nosedived by 90% in April and 63% in May this year. Similarly, it was in negative territory in June and July also. If the lockdown is imposed in European countries again, we will suffer huge losses,” said Harish Dua, MD, KG Exports, Ludhiana.

India exported garments worth $1.45 billion in the quarter ending June 2020 as against $4.17 billion in the corresponding period last year.

Tamil Nadu is India’s biggest apparel exporter, followed by Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka and Punjab. These five states account for over 92% of apparel exports. The major exporting countries are the US, the EU (Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, and the Netherlands), the UK, and the UAE. These four markets import 75% of apparels from India.

In North, Ludhiana contributes around 10% to the total exports from the country and caters to 30% of the domestic demand. Besides Ludhiana, major apparel hubs in the region are Jalandhar, Panipat, Gurugram and Noida. Apparel clusters in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh employ over two million workers. Around 200 textile exporters are based in Punjab and Haryana alone.

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