During the last three years, total exports were seen increasing despite a drastic fall in traditional items due to a rapid increase in the export of non-traditional items, like coir yarn, rope and pith to countries like China.
During the April-June period of FY 2012-13, the sector exported 25,965.54 tonne coir and coir products valued at R111.87 crore as against 27,132.77 tonne valued at R120.49 crore during the same period of last fiscal. Exports of coir and coir products crossed R850 crore during FY 12, when compared with performance of R807.07 .20 crore during 2010-11. The board has fixed a target of R900 crore of exports during the current year and an export target of R2,000 crore for the 12th Five Year Plan period.
Coir Board sources said that the global economic melt down, especially in the euro zone and the US are creating an impact upon the export of coir and coir products from the country. Most of the traditional items of export recorded decline both in quantity and value.
As the disposable income of middle and lower income groups fall, they are likely to cut down the expenditure on luxuries like furnishings or atleast postpone the purchase. Export of rugs and carpets are lower by 80% in volume when compared to the same period of last FY and mats are seen lower by 25%. The worrying factor is the decline in export of items like, coir fibre curled coir, coir pith and coir rope which was supporting the sector. Coir rope exports are lower by 76% for the period while fibre is lower by 25% and yarn by 8%. During the last fiscal, export of fibre increased by 44%, rope increased by 293% and curled coir by 115 %.
Exports of raw materials like fibre, pith and rope were creating problems for the domestic industry. China has been utilising coir fibre imported from India for manufacturing coir mattresses and toys. Coir Board feels that the growing affinity for environment friendly products can make coir a sought after product for furnishing purposes.