Agri Business

Work from home in the West boost India’s coir exports

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on November 10, 2020

India’s coir and products exports to western countries including the US are booming, thanks to the new normal of ‘Work from Home’ triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Coir exporters said that many customers, having been forced to spend more time at home, are undertaking home improvement projects and are building makeshift home offices under the concept of “Do it Yourself (DIY)”.

Replacement of old coir carpets and mats with new ones enabled India to fetch more orders. Fear of transmission of coronavirus through old door mats also pushed people to change them frequently, Mahadevan Pavithran, Managing Director, Travancore Coctuft, Cherthala, said.

Order books full

He told BusinessLine that a lot of exporters in Alappuzha have their order books full for printed vinyl backed coir door mats, rubber mats, jute rugs, rubber polypropylene from the markets of the US, Europe, South America, Far East, Asia Pacific.

“It is too early to say there is a steady climb in orders. But decorating their homes to keep them up-to-date has enabled us to get good orders,” adds Jose Paul Mathew, Managing Director, Palm Fibre India Pvt Ltd.

“Though the Europe market was down on Covid reasons, the US market compensated for the losses with a 20-25 per cent growth”, he said.

Growth of online marketing and the emergence of coir from a mere utility product to seasonally-designed one and its hygiene factor also helped.

Mathew, who is also the president of Federation of Indian Coir Exporters Association, has requested the government to reinstate the export incentive subsidy for the sector to counter the market volatility.

Input costs rise

According to Mahadevan, with the uptick in coir export during Covid -19 times manufacturing units are running at 120 per cent capacity. At present, shipments are around 1,000 containers a month worth ₹150 crore.

However, he said that the surging costs of raw materials such as coir yarn, PVC and Plasticizer have dampened export prospects.

Coir and products exports have weathered the Covid crisis, fetching an export revenue of ₹2,800 crore in FY20. The sector is expected to witness a 20 per cent growth in the current fiscal, the official sources said, quoting the Coir Board’s provisional export figures of 3.5 per cent increase in quantity and 25 per cent in value in July.

Published on November 10, 2020

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