Commodities

Coir, coir product exports weather Covid disruptions

V.Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on May 25, 2020 Published on May 25, 2020

File photo of a worker engaged in coir mat manufacturing machine in a unit in Alappuzha in Kerala.   -  The Hindu Business Line

India’s coir and coir product exports seem to have weathered the Covid-19 crisis, even as several other sectors have taken a hit in the global markets.

“Coir and coir products could fetch an export revenue of ₹2,400 crore till February and we will, in all probability, close the numbers (this year) almost similar to last year’s ₹2,800 crore. The final figures up to March 31 in FY20 are yet to be scrutinised,” said M Kumararaja, Secretary, Coir Board.

“In the Covid period, we have seen some 10 per cent decline in export orders due to cancellations because of emergencies in overseas destinations. However, the situation has now started improving with exporters receiving full-fledged orders for coir pith, coir fibre and mats and mattings,” he told BusinessLine.

Recessionary trends in the overseas markets have not deterred coir exports, as the sector continues to register performance like in the past, he added.

An exporting company in Kerala confirmed it has received orders for 3.5 lakh pieces of doormats from a leading furniture firm in Europe for immediate delivery.

According to Kumararaja, China continues to be the major importer, with a share of 26 per cent in FY19, followed by the US with 22 per cent, and Europe and South Korea.

To boost the potential of coir products both in the domestic and overseas markets, he said the Board is focussing more on mattings and mattresses, coir pith (which is mainly used for making greenhouses), and coir geotextiles for the construction of rural road networks. “Eco-friendliness is the USP of coir products and it doesn’t need any further introduction in overseas markets,” he added.

Going forward

VR Prasad, Managing Partner, Travancore Mats and Mattings Company, said the Covid-19 situation had had an impact on the export market to a certain extent, with shipment delays in Lockdown 1.0, but the sector is now slowly recouping, with several enquiries. However, ensuring consistent quality, quantity, timely delivery and reasonable pricing would be imperative in the present competitive environment, he added.

He also emphasised the need for modernisation of the coir sector through technology, especially in fibre extraction and spinning without breakage. Indian coir products hold a dominant position in the global markets even though there is competition from China, Sri Lanka, Philippines etc, he added.

Export of coir and coir products

Value in ₹ cr

Product

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

Coir pith

432.95

688.09

905.39

1018.47

1232.08

1147.26

Coir fibre

419.23

417.67

539.14

701.78

601.64

454.8

Coir doormats

636.74

665.95

697.59

682.03

741.36

675.57

Geotextiles

32.70

35.32

44.81

39.97

59.73

57.71

Coir yarn

30.01

28.21

29.48

24.58

26.42

21.76

Curled coir

37.32

25.10

24.19

23.16

31.37

25.39

Handloom matting

18.35

19.69

15.35

13.95

14.36

11.59

Other products

23.04

21.4

25.7

28.34

21.09

17.18

Total

1630.34

1901.43

2281.65

2532.28

2728.05

2411.26

Source: Coir Board

Published on May 25, 2020
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