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China & Korea silver lining for coir exports
Jan '10
With declining exports in traditional markets such as US and EU and new buyers like China and Korea buying more coir raw materials, 2009 has been a mixed year for the coir sector.

Rugs, carpets and mats experienced demand fall in the traditional markets of US and Europe, moreover, the sector didn't see considerable growth in exports to new markets like Latin America.

The domestic manufacturing sector of India has been going through raw material dearth due to huge demand for curled coir and fibre from China and Korea. However, continuous export of raw materials proved helpful to sustain the export performance of the coir industry.

According to experts, over-dependence of coir exports industry on traditional markets is the major drawback of the industry. The US is the largest market for these products, contributing over 37 percent of the total exports of Indian coir products. While EU countries account for more than 41 percent and the other countries share 22 percent of total exports, as per the statistics of Coir Board.

Domestic market has not witnessed considerable development though it has a bigger revenue share. Demands from new markets are not enough to counter-balance the losses from the US and European markets, said an expert. Shrinking exports to US and Europe are affecting fortunes of the Rs 20 billion traditional coir industry, which employees more than 500,000 workers, added the expert.

Coir exports sector has been drastically impacted by few other issues such as falling credit lines in major markets, default of payments and fluctuations of the rupee against dollar. Amid all these problems, swelling exports of curled coir and fibre to China and Korea is the only silver-lining for the sector.
According to the Coir Board, during April-August 2009, exports of curled coir went up by 143 percent in terms of volume and 287 percent in terms of value, while, export volume and value of Coir fibre increased by 240 percent and 226 percent, respectively.

In the month of May, Coir fibre exports to China witnessed an increase of 700 percent and 520 percent in terms of volume and value, respectively, while in April these exports soared up by 600 percent in volume and 378 percent in value. This rising trend of coir fibre export to China may harm indigenous industry, added the expert.

China and Korea mostly import low quality fibre from India which takes its toll on the availability of coir fibre in Indian markets.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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