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Wednesday, Mar 24, 2004

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Agri-Biz & Commodities - Coir
Industry & Economy - Exports & Imports

Coir products exports up

G.K. Nair

Kochi , March 23

EXPORTS of coir and coir products have gone up by over Rs 50 crore during April - February 2003-04 on increased demand for natural products in the world market.

Total exports during the period stood at 90,076 tonnes valued at Rs 366.57 crore as against 75,410 tonnes valued at Rs 316.14 crore in April - February 2002-03, registering an increase of 16 per cent in value and 19 per cent in quantity, a senior official of the Coir Board told Business Line. He said given this trend, total exports might touch Rs 400 crore during the current fiscal. He said that 85 per cent of the export of coir products originated from Kerala and this increase had been achieved despite the shortage of fibre in the State. Lack of effective husk collection mechanism and consequent inadequate raw material availability in recent months were affecting the development of the industry. Kerala, on an average, produces 1.05 lakh tonnes of white fibre and 54,500 tonnes of brown fibre. While the white fibre gets converted into coir yarn for further processing into value-added finished products such as mats, mattings etc., brown fibre is used for manufacture of curled coir for rubberisation and coir rope, he said.

In order to supplement the production of coir fibre here, coir manufacturing industry in Kerala brought fibre from places such as Pollachi, Tenkasi, Cumbum, Teni in Tamil Nadu, which supplies around 60,000 tonnes of fibre per year, he said.

There has been a substantial increase of 23 per cent in the export of coir mat, a major component in the Indian exports, to 44,454 tonnes valued at Rs 265.13 crore as against 38,196 tonnes valued at Rs 221.5 crore during April-February 2002-03.

Except for coir mattings, which had shown a decline, all the other major items such as rugs and carpets, coir yarn, coir geo-textiles and coir pith had shown increase. Export of coir pith, hither to considered as a waste material, has gone up to 24,349 tonnes valued at Rs 16.83 crore from 18,976 tonnes valued at Rs 13.51 crore.

Coir yarn increased to 10,887 tonnes valued at Rs 29.99 crore from 10,199 tonnes valued at Rs 26.50 crore while coir geo-textiles improved from 1,862 tonnes worth Rs 8.65 to 2,308 tonnes valued at Rs 10.41 crore. Rugs and carpets increased from 1,255 tonnes to 1,578 tonnes.

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