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Nepali carpet makers shift focus to high-end products
May '13
To counter the severe competition and soaring cost of producing carpets, Nepali carpet manufacturers and exporters are now focusing on manufacturing of high-end carpets that face relatively less competition.
Due to incursion of sub-standard low-cost carpets, it is becoming difficult for Nepali carpet exporters to retain their foothold in international markets, according to Anup Bahadur Malla, president of Nepal Carpet Exporters Association.
The prolonged financial slump in the EU and tough competition faced in the US have badly hit the demand for Nepali carpets, as buyers are now preferring low-cost carpets that other countries supply, Republica reported quoting Mr. Malla.
Nepali carpet manufacturers are slowly losing their grip over markets for normal carpets, and are hence slowly shifting their focus to high-end carpets to counter competition, and ensure sustainability in business.
High-end carpets which constituted less than 20 percent of Nepal’s overall carpet exports two years ago, now account for about 50 percent share, he added.
The country produces 100-knot carpets using a mix of natural fibre and wool, which it imports from the Netherlands and Tibet of China.
Till last year, price of such carpets hovered around US$ 100 per square metre. But now, due to hike in production cost due to factors like soaring cost of labour and raw-material and load-shedding, the producers have been compelled to hike the prices to around US$ 116 per square metre. 
Against this high-quality carpets fetch around US$ 150 per square metre.
According to Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC), Nepal’s carpet exports dipped to 346,065 square feet valuing Np Rs. 3.43 billion during the first eight months of the current fiscal year, which is a year-on-year fall of 17 percent.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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