Handicraft exports may fall 40% this fiscal due to Covid-19

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 30, 2020 Published on June 30, 2020

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India’s handicraft exports may fall 40 per cent to about $2.1 billion in FY21 from $3.53 billion in the previous fiscal as demand from key markets in the US, the UK and EU countries continues to be low due to the Covid-19 crisis.

“The handicrafts sector has felt the adverse effect of Covid-19 since February, when demand started to fall from many countries,” said Rakesh Kumar, Director-General, Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH). “Exports in the first quarter of 2020-21 have been severely affected, and till about mid-July, the situation will be adverse, after which there might be some improvement. But we may end the year with a fall of 35-40 per cent in exports as major markets are still to recover.”

Kumar said the main reason for the estimated slow recovery is the fact that handicraft items are not essentials and people would spend on these only once their essential needs are met.

Handicraft exporters are, however, overwhelmed by the big response the EPCH has received to the virtual international fair for handicrafts, IHGF-Delhi Fair, scheduled for July 13-18.

More than 200 overseas buyers from countries such as Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, the US, EU countries, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Fiji, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and the UAE have registered for the fair, said Ravi K Passi, an exporter and EPCH Chairman.

Confirmed participants include big brands such as Cost Plus World Market, Ralph Lauren, WKND-WYFR, Urban Outfitters, Mud Pie, Cracker Barrel, TJX, Wisteria, Bed Bath & Beyond from the US, Tchibo, Marc O’Polo, Impression from Germany, Pick n Pay from South Africa, FoxHome from Israel, Rivièra Maison, Edelman BV from the Netherlands, Carrefour from France, Bunnings Warehouse from Australia, Tesco, Ross, Next from the UK, Migros from Switzerland and Kif Kif Import from Canada.

Companies in India that have registered so far are The Bombay Store, Synergy Lifestyles, Fabindia Overseas, Goodearth Design Studio, Reliance Retail, Asian Paints, Raymond, Sleepwell, Praxis Home Retail (Home Town), Trent (Westside), Urban Ladder and Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail.

“We hope to do a lot of business in the fair as the two smaller online fairs that were organised by EPCH earlier were huge successes,” Kumar said.

Published on June 30, 2020
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