Indian clothing exports jumped 22.6 per cent in value terms to $2.8 billion in the first six months of 2003 from $2.84bn in the year-ago period, industry data revealed Monday.

Figures from the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) showed foreign garment shipments rose 11 per cent in volume terms in the January to June period to 743 million pieces from 670 million pieces in early 2002.

The group said exports to the key US market climbed to 236 million pieces worth $1.17bn from 205 million pieces valued at $982.3 million in the year prior, while shipments to Canada were flat in volume terms at 36.2 million pieces.

AEPC added the European Union was becoming an increasingly important market for local apparel producers with exports rocketing to 437 million pieces worth $1.4bn from 379 million pieces valued at just over $1bn due to strong orders from the UK, Germany, Italy, Greece, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Finland, Austria and the Benelux countries.