India is expected to remain the second largest producer of silk in the world in 2018 after China. With the production of silk in India on the rise, tremendous silk output from the largest silk producing states in India remains the major driving factor for growth. The silk industry in India has long been one of the most vital contributors to the country’s booming textile and apparel industry supply chain, export earnings, and the overall economic growth. Despite the recent decline in India’s silk production and exports caused by severe droughts and rising competition from neighbouring countries, India still holds the position as one the world’s leading silk producers, and major silk producing states in India will continue to be some of the most prominent suppliers in the global silk market in the coming years.
As the second largest silk producing country in the world in 2018, India is producing over 30,000 tonnes of raw silk every year, accounting for about 18% of the world’s total raw silk production. The annual export of silk and silk products from India is around US$400 million. The US has been the largest importer of Indian silk and silk products over the recent years, followed by China — the world’s largest silk consumer, and the UAE — one of the fastest growing silk importers in the world.
The history of the silk industry in India is storied and extends beyond just the largest silk producing states in India — today, over 52,000 villages in all the states across India are involved in sericulture and the production of silk in India , while the country’s silk industry employs more than 8.25 million people.
According to the recent statistics from Indian Government, India is the only country in the world that produces all the five kinds of silk namely Mulberry, Eri, Muga, Tropical Tasar and Temperate Tasar. India’s total raw silk production recorded 28,523 metric tonnes in the fiscal year ending 2016. The top 10 largest silk producing states in India include: Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur and Maharashtra.
|Rank||Sates||Production of raw silk in metric tonnes, 2016|
Official data shows that Karnataka is the largest silk producing state in India, with over 9,800 metric tonnes of raw silk produced, representing nearly 35% of the country’s total silk production. Andhra Pradesh with over 5,000 metric tonnes of raw silk output ranked in second place. Together with Assam, West Bengal and Jharkhand, the top 5 largest silk producing states in India accounts for over 80% of the total raw silk produced in the country every year.
The silk industry in India has a high production capacity, and an efficient raw material manufacturing capacity, therefore it’s silk imports are relatively low, and it has an extremely large domestic market — almost 80% of silk produced in the country is consumed by its booming textile and apparel industry, while the remaining 20% is exported to major markets such as the USA, the UK, and China.
Thanks to the on-going support and R&D activities from the government in the field of sericulture in India, major silk producers in the country can now produce not only more amount of raw silk, but also reap more mulberry leave yields, which serve as food for the silkworms. The growth of downstream sectors with technologically advanced reeling equipment are also facilitating the development of India’s silk production.
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