Chemical, tourism, rubber, food and coir sectors do well

Our Bureau

CII carried out the survey to analyse the performance of the top five sectors of the Southern Region States.

Kochi, May 10

Kerala's chemical industry improved its performance in the October-March period last fiscal by increasing production and sales by 20-25 per cent and 15-20 per cent respectively.

The other top industries of the State such as tourism, rubber processing, food processing, and coir, also registered significant growth during the same period, according to the findings of the Business Outlook Survey conducted by the CII - Southern Region.

CII carried out the survey to analyse the performance of the top five sectors of the Southern Region States during the period under review and provide an outlook for the first six months of 2006-07 and identify issues and concerns. Owing to good monsoon and demand, the chemical and fertiliser industry was able to increase production and sales during the period. Exports too rose by 5-10 per cent.

The foreign exchange earned by Kerala's tourism industry increased by 20 per cent, with the inflow of tourists going up 15-20 per cent.

Occupancy rate in hotels and resorts showed a moderate increase and the profit margins increased substantially by raising the tariffs in hotels and resorts.

The inflow of tourist revenue is expected to grow at 20-25 per cent while industry revenue is expected to rise 15-20 per cent in April-September 2006, thanks to the growing corporate demand and growth of ayurvedic tourism.

However, the tourism industry is facing very stiff competition from Kashmir and some foreign destinations, with the Indian tourists getting attracted to several foreign destinations thanks to reduced prices of air tickets.

Coir production and sales in the State, which is the largest producer of coconut contributing as much as 45 per cent of the country's total production, saw 10 per cent growth in production of five per cent growth in sales.

Exports rose by 10 per cent, testifying to the global demand for coir products.

Accounting for 92 per cent of the total production of natural rubber in India, Kerala registered 5-10 per cent growth in processed rubber sales during the October-March period, indicating an upward trend.

Production is expected to grow by 10-15 per cent and sales by 5-6 per cent. Exports are expected to grow by 10-15 per cent.

However, the industry faces immense transportation problem due to poor quality roads. CII has urged the Government to reduce duties and taxes on the industry.

The food processing industry performed marginally better during the period.

Production and sales rose by around five per cent. The inventory level decreased by 25 per cent and the level of employment by around five per cent.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 11, 2006)
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