India’s exports of carpet — a key item in the $3.9-billion handicraft export segment — are targeted to grow 12-15% in the next fiscal, partly due to a pick-up in orders from top buyer US, according to Carpet Export Promotion Council. With outbound shipments of cotton and yarn facing a slowdown due to poor demand from China, the government has heightened focus on handicrafts to boost the growth rate of overall textile and garment exports.
Carpet exports touched $1,173.4 million (Rs 7,771 crore) in April-February and are expected to grow 9% in 2014-15 from a year before. This means carpet supplies overseas have risen at a faster pace than the growth rate of less than 5% in overall textile and garment exports, which also include handicrafts, this fiscal — partly due to a 36% drop in exports of cotton and 12% in cotton yarn.
While overall textile and garment exports are expected to touch only $41 billion in 2014-15, compared to the target of $45 billion, carpet shipments will breach the official target of $1.26. In rupee terms, the target of Rs 7,600 crore for 2014-15 has already been crossed. Since the US alone accounts for 44% of overseas carpet supplies, a pick-up in the world’s largest economy is expected to help India’s exports next fiscal. “We are keen on improving the prospects of carpet exports. Our aim has been to promote women weavers, that too in tribal belts, so that household incomes rise,” textile secretary SK Panda told FE.
CEPC chairman Kuldeep Raj Wattal said while the growth rate in carpet exports would be higher next year, the government should restore a 3% interest subvention that was scrapped in 2013-14 after two years of providing it so that sustainable growth is achieved. He said Turkey’s decision to raise an import duty on carpets to 50% from 8% earlier has hurt India’s exports to it. Exports to Turkey had gone up in recent years, due to rising fascination for hand-knotted carpets, he said. Consequently, exports grew from just Rs 2-5 crore around seven years ago to Rs 200 crore so far this year.