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Demand from online sellers seen reviving handicrafts exports

Our Bureau. New Delhi | Updated on November 02, 2020 Published on November 02, 2020

Here is a collection of antiques from Rajasthan.

Sandalwood carvings.

Export promotion council pins hopeson virtual fair to sustain momentum

Export of handicrafts, which was battered in the first quarter of the fiscal due to the disruption caused by Covid-19, may see a revival now with a sudden spurt in orders from online sellers over the past three months, say exporters. And, this could last well beyond the festive season, they add.

“Due to the pandemic, online sellers have now started doing a lot of business. This is favouring handicraft exporters from India. Most of the online sellers have exhausted their stocks and are looking for new products. Therefore, there is a spurt in demand from such buyers since August this year and we are hopeful that this will continue in the months to come,” said Raj Kumar Malhotra, a Gurgaon-based exporter and Vice Chairman of the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH), at a media interaction on Monday.

In the first quarter, export of handicrafts declined by a sharp 66 per cent compared with the first quarter last fiscal but the fall was less severe in the second quarter. Although the overall decline in exports in the April-September 2020-21 period was about 35 per cent, in September 2020, the exports actually turned positive by about 7 per cent, as per EPCH calculations.

Exporters are now hopeful that over the next six months, they will be able to do increased business and catch up with last year’s exports of ₹25,470 crore. “Exports during Halloween were very encouraging and there is a good demand for Thanksgiving as well as Christmas,” said Rakesh Kumar, Executive Director, EPCH, adding that many buyers who used to source from China were also looking at new suppliers and it was a golden opportunity for Indian exporters.

Kumar, however, added that the government should actively resolve the shortage of shipping containers being faced by exporters as it had started affecting business.

Betting on ‘gifts fair’

EPCH believes that its handicrafts and gifts fair – IHGF-Delhi Virtual fair Autumn ’2020 – scheduled on November 4-9, will play an important role in attracting more buyers. Over 1,400 exhibitors from across categories will showcase their collections in home, lifestyle, fashion, textiles and furniture to buyers from about 100 countries.

“We are hopeful that in this virtual fair, we will receive business far greater than in our previous ones. The response that we have got from our buyers so far is very positive,” said Malhotra.

Indian handicrafts are exported across the world to destinations such as the US, the UK, the UAE, Germany, France, Latin American countries, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada and Australia.

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Published on November 02, 2020
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