Carpet exporters roll out for wider horizons

April 03, 2008 - India

The only way to counter slowing exports of carpets due to depreciation of dollar is to spot for new markets in South America, Australia and Africa.

Carpet exporters are increasingly looking out for markets other than US to keep away from the adverse effect of recession in the American economy. Countries like Brazil, Turkey, Spain and Argentina are steadily catching the eyes of this Rs4000 crore labor intensive cottage industry of India.

According to the Carpet Export Promotion Council (CEPC), about 65 percent of the total carpet exports of India were consumed by the US largely because these handmade, high variety rugs had a huge demand in the country.

But with the persistent appreciation of rupee by over 10.2 percent against US dollar in the past one year, has literally gnawed at the profits of the exporters by about 40-45 percent in the last 5-6 months.

Thereafter, in last 3-4 months, exports to the US have dropped to less than 49 percent of the total.

The 1,600 carpet units registered with the CEPC specializes in handmade rugs of silk and wool and engages some 3 million people. However, with profits getting marginalized due to low business, small manufacturing units are facing a closure.

However, despite the decline, exports in this fiscal year, has touched US $850 million and the country is planning to target $1 billion in the upcoming fiscal year.

In fact, experts believe that during the Domotex trade fair in Germany, Indian carpet sellers met with a good response from South America and it is hoped that such exposure to international buyers will surely open new markets for the country.