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Silk yarn imports to shrink on back of fall in exports

25
Sep '09
Silk yarn imports of Cambodia are anticipated to drop by 25 percent this year on account of reduced demands of silk products due to global economic crisis.

It is expected that this year the country would import about 300 tons of silk raw material compared to 400 tons imported in 2008 as many entrepreneurs are reducing their production due to economic crisis, said an official.

As per the Cambodian weavers, country needs to swell the production of raw silk in order to reduce its dependence on Vietnam and China for thread as the country imports almost 90 percent of silk thread from Vietnam and remaining from China.

Almost all silk thread, utilized in Cambodia to manufacture scarves, sampots (traditional costumes) and purses for local and international markets, is being imported and only 4 tons of it is produced domestically.

Last year silk imports accounted for around US $10 million at around $25,000 per ton. An official from the Artisans Association of Cambodia (AAC), a training and trade facilitation organization, which works directly with over 42 social enterprises across the country, said that last year, its members exported about $2.7 million worth of silk products, mainly to the United States, Europe and Japan.

But this year, silk product exports of its members are anticipated to reach only $2 million recording a decrease of 26 percent, said the official.

President of the Khmer Silk Village Association, Mr. Pheanuroth Sisowath, said though there is a slump in export demands for silk products, local demand for the products is very strong as 70 percent of silk products of the country are bought by the local people, and rest by the tourists or get exported.

Silk products are very popular among Cambodians; hence to fulfill the increasing local demands of silk products, country should develop the capacity to produce silk thread by investing $10 million to $20 million in it, said Mr. Sisowath.

As one of the measures to boost the local production capacity of silk, a project of around $475,000 has been launched by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to develop a silkworm egg production centre.

About 5,000 cases of disease-free silkworms would be produced per year through this project, which would start executing after two years and encompass seven demonstration farms established in Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampot, Kampong Cham, Kratie, Pursat, Siem Reap and Banteay Meanchey provinces in order to teach silkworm-raising techniques and cocoon-reeling techniques, said FAO.




Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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