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Silk industry on the downturn
08
Jan '10
Silk weavers of Cambodia have been totally hamstrung by the rising prices of raw materials in the past few years, with no proportionate increase in the finished products, which is leading to many of them quitting the business altogether.

Kandal province is the hub of silk weaving in Cambodia, which houses the maximum number of looms, but now most of these looms have shut down and these weavers have now shifted to working in garment factories, in face of diminishing returns.

The price of raw silk yarn, which is imported from Vietnam and China, has climbed from $40 per kilogram to $80 per kilogram since 2008, while the finished silk products are still being sold at 2008 prices, in the process bringing down the margins to a large extent.

98.7 percent of the 350 tonnes of raw silk yarn needed by these weavers is sourced from Vietnam and China. Experts aver that silk yarn prices have gone through the roof, ever since a silk processing plant, backed by Vietnamese investors was set up.

But at the same time, they also opine that these silk weavers have not kept pace with the changing market demand are sticking to producing traditional products, rather than other items like bed-sheets, curtains etc.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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