The textile ministry has failed to achieve the target for silk export for 2008-09. The ministry had set a target of exporting silk items worth Rs 3,970 crore but the country could export silk goods worth only Rs 3,165 crore during the period. However, 2008-09 recorded a growth of 16%, compared with exports of Rs 2,727 crore, which were reported in 2007-08.
According to the latest statistics released by the Central Silk Board (CSB), an apex body of the silk industry, the export of readymade silk garments increased to Rs 1,437 crore in 2008-09, from Rs 746 crore in the previous year. The exports have been affected due to the decline in demand for silk products like natural silk yarn, fabrics and madeups. China, the world?s largest producer of silk, has acquired India?s major silk export markets, by offering these items at a cheaper cost, a senior official attached to CSB said, requesting anonymity. Silk items like natural silk yarn, fabrics and madeups fetched export earnings of Rs 1664 crore in April-March 2009, down 12% from Rs 1,897 crore recorded in the previous fiscal.
The country?s silk carpet exports stood at Rs 58 crore, down from Rs 72 crore, while exports of silk waste also declined to Rs 5 crore from Rs 12 crore.
The failure in achieving the export target is mainly attributed to a cut in silk exports to the US. The CSB official said the country exported silk items worth Rs 535 crore to the US in 2008-09, down from Rs 614 crore exported in the previous fiscal. Silk exports to the UK also declined to Rs 348 crore from Rs 390 crore recorded in the previous fiscal. The US, Hong Kong, the UK, the UAE and Italy are the top five countries that imported Indian silk goods in value terms during April-March 2009. Of India?s total silk exports, the US accounted for 16.9%, followed by Hong Kong at 12%, the UK at 11%, the UAE at 9.5% and Italy at 6.2%.