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Coir exports suffer as tiff between suppliers & producers worsens
Sep '08
The coir exporters of Kerala are entangled in conflict with the brown fibre manufacturers and dealers who have stopped supplying coir products to the exporters as their demand for hike in prices has not been fulfilled. This southern state is the major coir product producer in the entire nation and the halt in production process means a direct hit at export earnings.

The suppliers are asking for higher rates as various factors including rise in cost of transportation due to hike in diesel prices has shrunken their profit margins. At present, the cost of raw brown coir has risen from Rs300 to Rs360 per kilogram, which has left the dealers baffled.

Last year the producers received Rs24.50 to 26.50 per kilogram from the exporters for their finished products. But now the dealers under no circumstances are ready to sell the products below Rs26.50 or else they will book heavy losses.

Fibre2fashion contacted Mr S. Poonambalam, President, Indian Coir Exporters Association, who divulged, “Coir yarn manufacturers want coir fibre at cheaper rates or they want a increase of 18 percent in prices from the exporters, which has not been accepted, so they have gone on strike.

“Exporters Association need some kind of export subsidy from government to tackle the situation. Two months back the government was given notice to increase the rates by 18 to 20 percent. Last month the government called for a meeting in which the exporters agreed to a proposal to increase prices by 6 percent.

But the coir yarn manufacturers are adamant on the increase of 18 percent and to get their demands fulfilled they have gone on strike which has brought everything on a standstill. As a result, the exporters are unable to take new orders because they don't know when the strike will get over. “

On the other hand, Mr Papen Kalatuprakal, General Secretary, India Coir Association was positive when he said, “Price problems are there, but that can be settled by negotiations between manufactures and buyer. Presently exporters are having sufficient stock of coir products, so it is not going to affect exports.”

The present situation has made the exporters look at other southern states for manufacturing various coir products.

In 2007-08 the exports of coir items witnessed a drop and touched Rs5930 million from Rs6050 million in the previous fiscal of 2006-07, mainly due to effect of rupee appreciation.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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