Total merchandise exports in March 2021 were US$ 34.00 billion as compared to US$21.49 billion in March 2020, a surge of 58%. However, the surge was on a very low base, when exports in February began suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic and China had shutdown to combat coronavirus spread. Export in March 2020 had declined sharply by 35% year on year. Cumulative exports during April-March 2020-21 were at US$ 290.18 billion, as compared to US$313.36 billion during the same period of last year, down 7.4%.

Basic textiles export comprising fibres, spun and filament yarns shipment more than doubled in March 2021 in terms of US$ worth US$1,023 million or INR7,358 crore, accounting for about 3% of total merchandise exported from India during the month. The increase was mainly driven by sharp increase in cotton ex-ports during the month. On a cumulative basis, exports were just 15% up in the financial year 2020-21, from 2019-20. Exports in April and May will also see sharp surges, mainly due to low base.

Spun yarns shipment totaled 134 million kg worth US$442 million (up 79% YoY) or INR3,180 crore (up 78%) in March 2021. Compared to February 2021 (a shorter calendar month), they were up 26% both in US$ in INR terms. Bangladesh reemerged as the largest importer in spun yarns, with value rising 54% year on year, followed by China (up 239%). These two markets accounted for about 46% to total yarn shipped during the month.

Cotton yarn export volume was at 103 million kg worth US$355 million (INR2,554 crore). These were shipped to 72 countries at an average price of US$3.45 a kg, up US cents 15 from previous month and US cents 51 from a year ago. China remained as the top cotton yarn market, followed by Bangladesh, Vietnam and Portugal.

100% man-made fibre yarns exports were at over 10 million kg during March, comprising 4.2 million kg of polyester yarn, 3.7 million kg of viscose yarn and 2.1 million kg of acrylic yarn. Polyester yarn export was worth US$9.6 million (INR69 crore) at an average price of US$2.29 per kg. Brazil was the largest market fol-lowed by Turkey and USA. Viscose spun yarns export was worth US$12 million and were exported at an av-erage unit price of US$3.32 a kg. Turkey was the largest importer of viscose yarn, followed by Bangladesh and Belgium.

Blended spun yarns worth US$58 million were shipped in March, including 26 million kg of PC yarns and 4.4 million kg of PV yarns. Egypt was the largest importers of PC yarn from India followed by Bangladesh while Turkey was the largest importer of PV yarns from India followed distantly by Brazil.

All kinds of filament yarns shipment stood at 60 million kg, valued at US$108 million or INR777 crore. Although all types of filaments recorded positive year on year increases in March, nylon and viscose filament exports were the slowest to rise. Polyester filament export value was up29% while PP filaments export rose 82% in values terms. Viscose filament export too increased 44% in March, which were sluggish over the past one year.

All kinds of manmade staple fibres shipment totaled 38 million kg, valued at US$44 million or INR319 crore. Polyester staple fibre exports were up 25-30% both in volume and US$ terms. The per unit realization inched up US cents 5 year on year to US$1.00 a kg or INR72 a kg. Viscose fibre export continued to re-bound, rising 80% in volume and 96% in US$ with price realisation averaging up 8%.