Silk imports from China dwindle
India’s silk imports have fallen drastically over the last four years. The country hopes to reduce its dependence on China for the import of high quality silk and become self-sufficient in silk production by 2022. The decrease in import volumes has been primarily on the back of an increase in production of bivoltine silk. While the total production of raw silk has recorded an annual growth rate of around five per cent that of bivoltine silk which is superior quality silk has grown by 13 per cent.
Bivoltine silk production is likely to touch 6,200 tons in 2017-18. India has allocated close to Rs 2000 crores for a period of three years for undertaking development activities for silk. A portion of the funds would be utilised for production of high quality silk.
However, India’s silk exports too have declined in value terms due to muted demand from key importing countries, including Europe and the US, and inability to compete with Chinese prices and quality. This has made the industry look at other geographies like Egypt, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. Silk exports include natural silk yarn, fabrics and made-ups, readymade garments, silk carpets and silk waste. India’s production of raw silk is expected to touch 45,000 tons in 2022.