Figure 1 below illustrates monthly trend of India’s apparel exports from Jan 2019 to Jan 2021. The exports in Jan & Feb 2020 were just 4% less than 2019 but then dropped abruptly by 35% in March as the global lockdowns started happening. The exports hit the lowest in April 2020, at US$ 127 million, almost 92% lower than in 2019. From July onwards, exports started recovering partially. In Sep. & Oct. 2020, the exports were higher on a y-o-y basis, but then they started declining again.
Figure 2 shows the share of top 5 apparel markets for India. These countries (USA, UAE, UK, Germany and France) accounted for approx. 58% share in 2019. In 2020, that share of UAE and Germany increased marginally by 1% each, while that of UK decreased by 1%. However, share of USA and France remained same.
YTD data for 2021 is only for January which is insufficient to draw meaningful insights in terms of share change, but UAE’s share has reduced by 3%, while share of others have remained almost same. Observing the effect of second wave in India, it seems unlikely that 2021 will see full recovery compared to 2019. But it is important to note positive growth was seen in exports was observed in second half of the year therefore, strong revival might be possibility by the end of 2021.