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Wool exports plummet for the first time in four years
02
Aug '08
The Wool and Woolen Export Promotion Council (WWEPC) has reported that, for the first time in four years, a drop of Rs1240.01 million or 6.84 percent has been witnessed in exports of wollen products in the period between April 2007 and February 2008. Appreciation of the rupee is considered the main culprit for bringing about this sudden dip in earnings.

Exports of wool, wool blended textile and readymade garments went down by a staggering Rs16,880.04 million in the period under review against Rs18,120.05 million recorded in the corresponding period a year ago.

In an exclusive interview with Fibre2fashion, Mr R K Gupta, Managing Director of Wool and Woolen Export Promotion Council stated, “Appreciation of rupee against dollar is proving detrimental to the country's low import-intensive and price-sensitive wool industry. This appreciation of rupee has blunted the industry competitiveness resulting in decline in exports. The sharp appreciation of the Indian Rupee against US dollar was a major cause of concern for exporters, particularly the smaller businessmen.”

Mr Gupta further added that although appreciation is one of the key reasons behind this decline, there are other crucial factors as well. Higher rate of customs duty on wool waste and on specified textile & garment machinery, lower rates of incentives like duty drawback and DEPB, rigid labor policy, higher transaction costs, problems of power supply and power cost, shortage of skilled and semi-skilled manpower have all played their roles in hampering revenues from wool exports.

However, Mr Gupta also disclosed that the problems had been addressed to the Government by the Council and certain effective measures have also been decided upon. A warehouse will be set up in Moscow, where, the members of the Council can store their goods for ready supplies to their customers at a short notice. It is hoped that, very soon the Council will be able to open the warehouse.

Besides, the council has also finalized an ambitious export promotion programme for the year 2008-09, under which it will be sending trade delegations to Moscow, Almaty, Tashkent, Australia & New Zealand.

The Council will also be participating in Trends Apparel Show, Alberta, Canada, India Garment Fair, Osaka, Japan, Moda Accessories Exhibition, Birmingham, UK and various other leading exhibitions across the world and is hopeful that the member-exporters will get substantial orders by participating in these promotional activities.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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