Handicraft exports jumped 34.4 per cent year-on-year to $454 million in December on the back of rising demand in western markets like US.

In December 2011, these exports stood at $338 million, according to the data provided by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH).

“There is an increase in the number of orders from American and Chinese buyers,” an EPCH official said.

The demand, however, is yet to pick up in the European market, he added.

The US and Europe together account for about 60 per cent of the country’s total handicraft shipments.

Besides, the exporters are making efforts to create niche domains for their products in new markets such as West Asia, Russia and Latin America.

Among the items that registered maximum growth in overseas shipments in December are wood-wares (83 per cent), imitation jewellery (76 per cent), shawls as art ware (61 per cent) and hand-printed textiles and scarves (26 per cent).

During April-December period, handicraft exports grew 20 per cent year-on-year to $2.05 billion.

EPCH expects handicraft exports to touch $3.2 billion in the current fiscal compared with $2.75 billion in the last fiscal.

Moradabad, Jaipur, Saharanpur, Jodhpur and Narsapur are the major handicraft hubs in the country, employing 1 million people.

(This article was published on January 4, 2013)
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