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Rising yarn prices hits Cambodian silk industry
Aug '10
As the price of silk yarn imports go up, it is posing a danger to continued existence of the Cambodian silk industry. This is because since end-June, almost half the silk weavers of country have left their jobs, industry officials divulged.

Prince Sisovath Pheanuroth, President of the Khmer Silk Village Association (KSVA), said that the yarn prices have almost doubled, over the corresponding period last year, and that there are no indications of it going down.

The KSVA revealed that, there has been a hike of 46 percent in the prices of silk yarn prices and they now stand at US $40,000 per ton as against $27,500 per ton in the same time last year. Further the prices are expected to rise to a level of $45,000 -50,000 per ton by year end.

The association President further stated that, as the silk yarn exporters continue to restrict supply, he believes that silk yarn prices would continue to rise in times to come.

The country each year churns out around four tons of silk yarn, which barely meets the local demand. Between 2005 and 2009 each year, Cambodia was required to import around 300-400 tons of silk yarn from Vietnam and China in order to produce finished silk products. Of the entire produce, 30 percent of the finished products were exported to overseas markets and the rest was sold in local markets.

As stated by Ke Muny, Deputy Secretary General of KSVA, the price rise proved to be a menace to jobs of about 20,000 workers engaged in the sector, and now with diminishing silk profits, many of those who were earlier engaged in silk weaving are now hunting for jobs in other sectors.

Since July, almost half the weavers across Cambodia have given up their jobs as the finished silk products that they produce are not reaping high prices and as such are no more profits, Ke Muny said.

On April 27, Prime Minister Hun Sen abolished the duty on imports of silk yarn as well as removed value-added tax. Though this brought down the production cost by around seven to 10 percent, mounting prices of the raw material are continuously eating up profits.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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