India’s exports of silk products rebounded from six year lows in 2021-22 on improving demand for silk carpets and ready made garments from markets such as Europe and the United States.

Shipments grew 36 per cent in rupee value terms in 2021-22 to ₹1,925.94 crore, while in dollar terms, the growth was 35 per cent at $258.81 million over previous year. During 2020-21, the silk product exports had touched a six-year low of ₹1,412.13 crore.

Naresh K Sadh, Chairman, The Indian Silk Export Promotion Council (ISEPC), attributed the slump in shipments during 2020-21 to the sharp fall in demand due to the spread of Covid worldwide. Consumers in the developed world stayed away from products of silk, considered a luxury, during the pandemic period.

“The demand improved during 2021-22 mainly for product such as silk carpets, silk made-ups and readymade garments. We are hopeful that the demand will improve further in the current year,” Sadh said.

As per the provisional data compiled by the Central Silk Board, shipments of silk carpets during 2021-22 grew by 55 per cent to ₹269.9 crore over previous year’s ₹174.20 crore. Similarly, the silk readymade garments were up 26 per cent at ₹846.90 crore (₹672.58 crore).

The exports of silk fabrics and made-ups grew 44 per cent to ₹554.31 crore ( ₹385.70 crore). The shipments of silk waste, acquired during the process of reeling, also registered a growth of 38 per cent at ₹208.58 crore over previous year’s ₹150.74 crore.

Meanwhile, the imports of raw silk went up marginally to 1,978 tonnes during 2021-22 from a low of 1,804 tonnes in the previous year.

Production: Mixed bag

According to CSB, the total silk production in the country during 2021-22 was 3.4 per cent more at 34,923 tonnes than the previous year’s 33,770 tonnes.. The bivoltine raw silk production increased substantially by 17.6 per cent from 6,783 tonnes during 2020-21 to 7,978 tonnes during 2021-22.

Further, production of vanya silk, which includes varieties such as Tasar, Eri and Muga silks, has reduced by 8.1 per cent during 2021-22 over 2020-21. The reduction in vanya silks is mainly on account of 46 per cent drop in tasar silk production during 2021-22. The area under mulberry has increased by 3.2 per cent in 2021-22 compared to previous year.