India's garments exports declined by about 10 per cent to $876 million in February 2010 compared with the same period in the previous year, on account of less demand from major markets like the US and the Europe, according to Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) estimates.
Apparel exports stood at $973 million in February 2009. During April-February 2009-10, garment exports declined by 13 per cent to $8.7 billion compared to $10.1 billion in the same period previous fiscal.
The sector, which employs 3.65 million people, is expected to close the last fiscal (ended 31 March) with a drop of over 11 per cent in exports. "Exports are likely to drop to $9.7 billion in fiscal 2009-10 compared to $10.93 billion in 2008-09 due to weak demand from the western markets," AEPC chairman Premal Udani said in New Delhi on Thursday.
Except in August and November, the garments exports contracted in all other months of fiscal 2009-10 till February. While India's overall exports started showing improvement since November, the apparel sector has still not recovered from the slowdown.
The US and the EU together account for 70 per cent of India's total apparel exports.
However, garment exports from India to the US, the European Union and Japan are likely to pick up in months ahead on the back of improvement in their retail markets, according to another industry body, the Confederation of Indian Textile Industries (CITI).