The South India Hosiery Manufacturers' Association (SIHMA) said on Wednesday it is expecting a gradual increase in export orders over the next few months amid a rise in inquiries.

Association president, Mohan P Kandaswamy, said in a news release that a surprise number of orders had already been placed for the autumn season by US and EU buyers and further inquiries had been received for the spring and summer seasons.

He added that due to market conditions exporters had little room for negotiation but that China's entry into the World Trade Organisation was set to benefit Indian hosiery makers as it now had to comply with strict regulations on workers' wages and welfare which could push up its prices.